Former Students Share Crazy Stories About Their Horrible Teachers

Phillip Hamilton

The role of teacher is among the most important jobs in our society. Ideally, a teacher should be caring, trustworthy, understanding, and above all else able to teach. What they shouldn’t be is pretty much anything in the list you’re about to read. From shocking to downright heartbreaking, these stories really put things in perspective and make you wonder, “How do these people get jobs teaching”?! Here are 42 wild stories about terrible teachers.

1. Too Smart, Try Again

I had a 10th-grade French teacher accuse me of plagiarism for writing something that was “above my level of French”. I was shy and didn’t talk much, but had been in total immersion since grade school.


In grades 7 and 8, I even competed in public speaking, winning out of the school and going to provincials.

They put me in the highest level with one other contestant who had just moved from Quebec.


Did she bother to back-check anything? Heck no. But that was just the beginning of the nightmare. That jerk screwed my grades up so bad that I went from being an honor student to barely showing up because I didn’t know what to do.


If I did well, I’d get in trouble, so what’s the point?


2. How Do I Math?

I had a math teacher who would leave the class to ask another teacher how to do certain math problems.

Sometimes he’d be gone as long as 30 minutes during a 50-minute class period. Suffice to say, no one in that class learned much.


3. The Basketball Teacher

My seventh-grade math teacher. Dude would assign homework, which I would do, and then have us grade them in class.

Here’s the catch: He never checked the graded work himself. Get a wrong answer on the assignment? Pssh, just ignore it and put the corresponding grade on your paper! Problem solved! But it gets even worse.

There were friends of mine who caught on and turned in LITERALLY BLANK papers, folded in half and with full scores written at the top. They got the grades. And his methods for teaching usually involved playing Nerf basketball in class with a few students after about a 5-minute lesson on any new material.

How was he not fired for this gross negligence? One word: Tenure.


4. How Can I Listen With a Sore Ear?

Not currently a student, but when I was, I had a first-grade teacher who, whenever she caught me chatting with another student when I was supposed to be listening, would yank on my ear.

On the flip side, in 10th grade, I was in the hospital for a few weeks. Once I returned to school, my Language Arts teacher stayed after school every day to help me catch up until I was back on track with the other students in the class.


5. Chocolate Covered Revenge

Mrs. Danner in the third grade. She was a terrible teacher in general. She talked about her migraines constantly instead of teaching and explained how chocolate and Taco Bell triggered her migraines and explosive diarrhea, and told us that anyone who drinks diet soda would immediately get cancer even if they drank it because they have diabetes and can’t drink regular soda.

She picked on different students and loved to have loud, patronizing conversations with her teacher friend next door about students in her class as a passive-aggressive way to get on to students.

She was particularly mean to me because she wasn’t from what would be considered a “good” family in the area but married well.

In her new social circle, she wound up rubbing elbows with my grandmother, who absolutely despised Mrs.

Danner and was not shy about making that fact known. So, when she saw my last name on the first day of class, she decided to get her revenge. It all culminated in one incident in which I had an altercation with a boy outside of school hours and not at a school event.

On the Monday following the event, Mrs. Danner and her teacher friend pulled me into the hallway and said things like, “Looks like the Pandersons aren’t as wonderful as they pretend” and “how ashamed your grandmother must be” and other things that turned poor, sensitive Dan Panderson into a teenaged, sobbing mess.

I went home and my tears turned my mother into a bear ready to attack. The following day, my mother put on her best suit, donned her pearls, pulled her hair into an elegant chignon, and stomped her high-heeled feet into that school at 3:

00 p.m. and stepped into the classroom. I’ll never forget the next few moments.

Mrs. Danner said, “Hello [Mom First Name]”. My mother said, “Oh, you may call me Mrs. Last Name, my friends use my first name,” and then laid the most gloriously condescending smack-down on that jerk that the world has ever heard.

Eventually, the principal came down and Mama said, “Well, I’ve said my piece”.

“Mrs. Danner will finish the year being much nicer to Dan or I will be forced to have a meeting with my cousin (the school board president) and see how he feels about renewing her contract”.

Mama flounced out leaving shattered remains in her wake and it was honestly amazing. Mama, being a grade-A jerk, proceeded to sign up to make all the baked goods for class, and only made chocolate because Mrs.

Danner can’t have chocolate.


6. Mr. Drinky-Poo

He was my 7th-grade math teacher. He’d keep a bottle of Veryfine (brand name) orange juice with vodka on the ledge outside the window. Halfway through the class, he’d pass out in his chair.

We were his last class of the day and he would drink all day. He’d tell us which page the math problems were on and tell us to do the even number problems.

Oh, but it gets better.

 All the even number answers were in the back of the book. Everyone got A’s.


7. Lit Class, Fam

My English lit professor was late to class every day. She was clearly never sober. On top of that, she didn’t shower, her hair was matted, and she was SO rude. She gave us homework and never took it up or graded it, and then would show up and say it’s test day with no warning. I had to drop that class after I failed the first test.


8. Bleed or Fail, Your Choice

One time while taking an exam in my Calculus class, I got a random bloody nose that dripped right on to the test. My teacher’s response was incredibly disturbing. After I explained what happened, she said if I left the room to go clean up, I wouldn’t be able to retake it. My options were to grab another test and start over halfway through, without being able to copy my previous answers, or leave and fail the exam.

I walked out of the classroom and withdrew before I got to my car.


9. Heartless, But a Good Shot

Third grade. We were reading Where the Red Fern Grows and we got to the part where the boy’s dog passes and everyone in class started crying. I was sitting there waiting for the next kid to read and some girl across the room called me out, saying, “Why isn’t he crying like the rest of us”?

To which the teacher lady replied, “Because he doesn’t have a heart”.

I threw my book at her from across the room and smacked her right in the forehead. I was suspended for a week.


10. Grade Randomizer 2000

College professor who didn’t respond to any questions and just gave a final grade. It was an online class without lecture, too. Unlike other professors who would post mini-lectures or videos or whatever, it was a very “Here’s the book, do your entire marketing campaign on this”.

One student called and messaged him nine times to get her grade from our midterm.

He finally sent her an email with nothing but a bunch of white space and a one-letter reply of her grade.

He gave me a B for the course. He gave the chronic C student that I tutored an A. I’m pretty sure he just randomly assigned grades. It was an awful experience overall.


11. Ain’t Smart Enough

It was social studies, and instead of the questions being based on the content learned in class, the questions were based on a pile of political cartoons, quotes, and other stuff.

She didn’t prep us at all for that type of test, and everyone expected a regular test that would be based on the content we learned in class. I mean, obviously.

About half the class failed, and after the test she basically said how we now know what to expect, and that we can do better on the next test.

She was also the toughest marker in the school. What would be an 80% in another teacher’s class was a 60% in her class. I know because a friend asked another teacher to mark his essay for comparison.

But that all pales in comparison to her worst act. She also told my father I wasn’t smart enough to be in her class during parent-teacher interviews.


12. Kids Teaching Kids

I love reading, have from an early age, and I was excited to learn literature in junior high.

I had a teacher who just completed her post-grad diploma, and for an entire year in literature class, she would just flip pages and say things like, “Turn to page 88. Highlight paragraph 3. That’s gonna be tested”. I was so freaking disappointed.

One day, she had to make up a class on Saturday and started telling us how much she hated her job because she couldn’t go get wasted on Friday night since she had to show up on a Saturday morning and teach a bunch of stinking kids. She then proceeded to ask us to turn to some page, yelling, “Just highlight everything.

The entire page will be tested”!

Well, she got what was coming to her. She got fired because she got caught doing it with the IT instructor in the computer lab.


Horrible Teachers FactsShutterstock

13. Learn Welsh, Duh

My Welsh professor.

She assigned textbooks that were out of print, couldn’t explain anything, responded to questions by repeating herself, and her syllabus was just header info and a single line that said, “The purpose of this class is to learn Welsh”.


14. The Class Example

My sixth-grade teacher. He loved to pick on kids and make them the butt of his jokes. Unfortunately, I was his target for an entire year. He would always single me out. He always made me do humiliating things in front of the class.

Sometimes, if I put an answer that he deemed dumb on an assignment, he would read my answers in front of the class.

He would also show the class my poor handwriting and ask them if he should mark the answers wrong just because he couldn’t read the answer.

Having an entire class laugh at you day after day can wear you down. But it didn’t end there. See, when your teacher makes fun of you in front of the class, it spills over into the playground.

Kids think they have immunity to make fun of you however they want.

I sometimes look back and wonder how sadistic a person must be to purposely humiliate a little kid.


15. A Pain in the Back

Second grade.

I had a cool girl named Deja in my class. Our class made a joke where we’d say “Deja” and then “VOOOO” in a loud and deep voice. The teacher was super ticked and took Deja’s bag (the rectangular ones with the two metal bars on the back) and slammed it against her back.

I heard the most blood-curdling scream of all time and the whole class fell silent.


16. I Love the Smell of Internal Bleeding in the Morning

My current professor in my nursing program. My cohort is made up of 74 students, and we all have her for the same class.

Not one person has anything positive to say about this woman. During the lecture, she only reads the PowerPoint slides, as they are, without elaborating or teaching about the subjects of the slides.

She then tries to relate what the topic of the slides are to her clinical experience in the hospital.

But her stories are convoluted, distracting from the actual topic, and very tangential. She basically talks about herself as God’s gift to anyone who has had her as a nurse. She is by far the biggest narcissist I have ever encountered.

Honestly, I have never met anyone who has thought so highly of themselves before. When it comes time for her exams, many students do very poorly because the material on the exams is often not covered in her lecture.

There is almost zero relation of what she says in class and the questions she asks on the exam.

Even reading the chapters multiple times has proven to be an ineffective method of preparation for her exams.

When students go to her office hours for help, she never gives any rationale to any answers on exams or slide questions. She just says to read the book. Many of us question her knowledge of the subject she is teaching.

I understand the concept of students learning on their own, but she can’t even point the ones seeking help in the right direction. But this isn’t even the best part. She also claims she can smell a patient bleeding internally.



17. All the Teachers Say So

I had a teacher who hated me because my older sister was a smart aleck in her class two years earlier. She wouldn’t give me half credit on questions that other kids got half credit on, things of that nature.

One day, she told my mother that I was a “problem student” and that ALL of my teachers wanted a parent-teacher conference.

My mother called every single teacher of mine the next day, who all said I was a perfect student, if just a little “chatty” sometimes.

My mother called the first teacher back and basically told her to go screw herself.


18. Attacker

This was a gym teacher. The other kids would often make fun of me and sometimes beat me up.

She would only intervene if I fought back, and that was to punish me and me alone. I went to the guidance counselor one time after getting kicked out and told him what happened. When he called her, she told him a dirty lie.

She said that I was attacking them and they did nothing. Since she was the teacher and I was the student, you can guess who the guidance counselor believed.


19. At Least They Showed up?

College professor who made his students group up and teach the material to the rest of the class while he sat in the back of the room and just watched.

Then he gave the exams that came from the book publisher, had us correct each other’s tests, and called it done. He did nothing but show up. I learned nothing the entire semester.


20. Ex-Spelled

My second-grade teacher.

I always had terrible penmanship, but we had to write a report on a book about an animal. I picked penguins. The next day, she called me up in front of the class. Then she gave me a heartbreaking punishment.

 She said my report was so bad and illegible that she was going to have to tell the principal and that I was going to be expelled.

From second grade. I bawled my eyes out because I thought I was going to never be allowed to go to school again and knew I’d get my butt whooped when I got home.

I mean really, I can’t get over it to this day. She told a second grader that he was going to get kicked out of school because of penmanship. She was just a terrible human.


21. That’s Cold

My kindergarten teacher passed out on a field trip to the zoo. That doesn’t make her a bad teacher, but I guess I do have to call her the worst teacher because of it.


22. Mr. Thanos

I had a professor who had a goal of failing 50% of the class by midterms, making them drop out of the class, and failing 50% of the remaining people at finals. I squeezed by with a D and retook the class a few years later, since I don’t think a D would let me graduate.


23. B is For Coffee

I had a history teacher in 10th grade who just sat and drank coffee. You had to read from the book and do outlines of it. He never read your work. I used to just put gibberish in there and see what happened.

One time, he wrote “good job” about an inch away from the comment in my outline “I like cheese”. I somehow got a B. Still don’t understand that one. I think almost everyone got a B.


24. French Class Sans French

Oh, let’s see. This teacher threw chairs, desks, keys, chalk, you name it, at students. He also didn’t believe that I could read chapter books…in grade five, as a 10-year-old. One day, we were learning about PH values and tested bleach.

It came out as a base…because it is a base. He was surprised and told us it must have changed from being an acid because it had been sitting on the shelf for so long.

Then he doled out his worst punishment. He made a kid do detention in the hall with a sign that said “future squeegee kid”. Just horrible. He was all-round a pretty poor teacher with a terrible temper.

Maybe he would have done better in high school when classroom management is a little easier. Middle school? Not so much.

I forgot another terrible teacher. The subject was high school French. The subjects we covered were his favorite hockey team, his favorite hockey player, the miseries inflicted upon him by his wife, and how terribly behaved the students at his previous school were.

All of this was in English. We didn’t learn a lick of French that year and the administration couldn’t figure out why everyone kept dropping out of the French program after taking his class.


25. Roid Rage in Class

Gym teacher in high school. Roided up and dumb as a rock. Refused to sign off on doctors’ notes students would bring in to be excused from gym class. This was particularly interesting when he did it to a girl on crutches.

To this day, one of the biggest jerks I’ve ever encountered. Or the math professor I had in college who was a brilliant guy and had degrees and awards coming out his butt, but he was a god-awful teacher and had less than zero people skills.

That class was absolutely brutal.


26. Aloofness Wins

Gunnar, gym teacher. Old white dude with a grey afro. He wore very short shorts and sometimes his testicles fell out. I was never good in class, since I was a lazy kid.

So, final year he sat me down and said “Well, last year you barely got a passing grade and this year you somehow performed even worse. What kind of grade do you think you deserve”?

I shrugged and said, “It doesn’t matter”. Then graduation day comes. When I found out my mark, my jaw dropped. Somehow I got a BETTER grade than the year before! Still think he must have mixed up the papers, and I wonder if he failed someone else by accident.


27. Who Told You That?

Health and safety teacher, late 50s, early 60s maybe. He was very much like Ozzy Osbourne. He’d stutter, forget unforgettable things, and begin to vacantly stare into space sometimes halfway through conversation. Worst of all were his contradictions, oh Lord.

He would say “Write this down, this is the best answer/ explanation for this question”.

Then, skip 20 minutes forward to when he was marking the questions, and a meltdown would ensue because we wrote the wrong answer and he didn’t know where we possibly could have got it from.


28. April Fool’s

I’m not going to actually name her, but I’ll just call her Mrs. April. She was my first-grade teacher and I have some hot tea to spill on her.

When my older brother went into second grade, she was his teacher. One day, she tells my parents that he is not focusing in class and should take some of these random pills. My parents agreed, thinking it was for his own good.

Long story short, it was not for his own good. He was banging his head on the wall and floors and yelling. My parents stopped giving him the pills, and he stopped that behavior. Later, they found out the truth.

He was deadly allergic to those pills. But when they told Mrs. April, she insisted they keep giving them to him. Thank God they didn’t.

Anyways, when I was in first grade, things were terrible.

I got detentions almost every day and we had stupid clip charts. From top to bottom it went like this: Outstanding, Great, Ready to Learn, Teacher’s Choice, and Parent Contact. Surprisingly, I only had to contact my parents once when I got on parent contact.

But every day she would torment me with the clip chart.

One day, I got Outstanding and we had to all do this hand motion called “roller coaster” and I felt super happy and jumped off the stool I was standing on. She got mad and I immediately had to clip down to Parent Contact.

Another weird example of our torment was whenever an adult would visit the class, she would act super polite, but as soon as the adult left…She would explode with anger!

Pointing out every mistake and clipping everyone down to parent contact.

She made me so angry all the time. Keep in mind, we were in first grade and all weak. One day, out of anger, I just snapped a pencil in half. Another time, I threw a freaking iPad on the ground. I also lost hairs there because I ripped them out of my head.

It was clearly a negative situation.


29. The Never-ending Test

My AP Psych teacher. I’ve never met anyone with a worse teaching style, and this was an AP class, where the teachers should be at least somewhat competent.

Whenever we got quizzes back (if he didn’t lose them), we would go over every answer that a lot of people got wrong. The thing is, sometimes he would deliberately say the answer was, for example, B instead of C.

He expected us to argue with him for our correct answer, but then he would argue back until everyone gave up, making up on the spot a way of tying that wrong answer to the question until we were convinced.

You’re supposed to be able to trust your teachers to give you correct information, right? Wrong. The next day, he’d tell us we hadn’t tried hard enough to prove our points.

So then, when we took the test, it was impossible to remember what was right and what was wrong.


Students This Dumb Facts

30. Success Is the Best Revenge

My AP US history teacher in 11th grade. I had him in 9th grade and he was awesome when I was one of the best students. But Junior year, everything changed. I struggled hard and was doing pretty poorly.

I was also suffering from crippling anxiety that made deadlines for assignments feel like the end of the world.

He would hold me back at the end of class at least once a week to berate me for “not trying harder” and constantly tell me I was going to fail.

One day, he told me I was never going to amount to anything in my life because I sucked at US history. I would leave in tears every time. I usually had chemistry afterward, and my chemistry teacher used to give me this sad look each day.

When I came in upset, he’d say “history”? and I’d cry more. This was almost 15 years ago, and I still hold so much hatred in my heart for that one teacher. It was completely unnecessary.

I will be graduating from medical school this year and I’m so tempted to send him a letter saying I amounted to something, and sign it. Freaking douche.


Horrible Teachers FactsShutterstock

31. Blocks: Revoked

I had a third-grade teacher who when I got the only 100 on the test, she let me play with blocks.

But when I let out a small “yes”! I got the timeout chair instead and a note home.


32. Stop Being Picked on, Then!

Mrs. Hazlet. Had her in 5th grade and she was extremely rude to most of the class.

I was picked on a lot during elementary school and I would always come to the teacher and my parents for help. She would never do anything about it at all and would sometimes just get me in trouble for asking her about it or telling her.

So, one day I get beat up by some kids outside because they were trying to take a kickball that I brought from home. I was covered in dirt and extremely upset, and she comes over to them.

I thought that this was finally when she would ream them out for something. I’ve never been more wrong. She screams in my face and tells me to not tell my parents about this.

Went home and told my dad about it and he talks to the principal about the situation and is furious. She was removed for a week from class and we had a sub. She came back and never paid much attention to me after that.


33. It’s a Trap!

Mrs. Robinson, who forced me into a room where I was scolded by eight teachers. Screw you.


34. Free Spirit in a Tie

I’ll never forget Mr. Taylor in college German. This dude was a freaking riot, let me tell you.

When I first took the class, I heard rumors that he was a bit off, but I didn’t know any specifics, so I had a fairly clean slate when it came to my experience as one of his students. He always wore a suit and was constantly sweating even though it was normally hot in the room.

Most days I had this class, he ended 20 minutes early because he had to “lie down because of his migraines”. I also saw him quite a bit out of class. As any college student, I frequented the local grocery store liquor section and I saw him there just about every time I went.

After weeks of seeing him behave erratically in class and witnessing his weekly cart-fulls of wine, I connected the dots that he was likely an alcoholic.

About a month in, things started getting nuts. He would go on these long rants that were completely unrelated to the course and we would just sit there in silence as he talked about being a hippy in San Francisco in the 60s and doing it with some random “free spirit” on Jim Morrison’s grave. But he wasn’t even finished.

He once went on a 20-minute rant about Catholics and how religion has completely destroyed the fabric of academia and will be the end of civilized society as we know it. When he saw that we were just sitting in silence (very awkwardly), he’d just smile and say, “You guys are just too young to understand”. This dude also LOVED squirrels.

We would sometimes have class out in the quad because he’d rather talk about Dresden during WW2 and how it destroyed a ton of art under one of the shade trees. He would constantly get distracted if a squirrel wandered by and immediately yell out “Oh my, look at that one!

It’s so pudgy and cute”! He was just obsessed with them.

He once even claimed he saw a squirrel that looked EXACTLY like John Lennon. I wish I was making this up. Also, if you drew a squirrel on your quiz, you were given extra points.

Not that this class was hard, because he handed out the quizzes on Monday and collected them on Fridays each week. Never got below a 102 on any of them.

In the end, I felt bad for him.

He always talked about loves lost and how great it was to be a hippie in the 60s. I didn’t learn anything about German that semester, but I guess I got a taste of what radical hippies were like back in the day. It was a wild ride.


35. No, I’m Right

Fluid dynamics professor. On an exam, he had a true/false section. +1 for correct, -2 for wrong or empty. Question whatever: An inviscid fluid means it has zero viscosity. About 2/3 of the class marked true.

He marked it wrong for everyone because “You only assume a fluid is inviscid”. I sent him scans from the textbook, the Merriam Webster dictionary definition, and the Oxford dictionary definition.

He would not budge for anyone.

Some of my aero friends laughed at the dude.


36. Let Me Save You Some Time…I Don’t Know

I had a computer science teacher who didn’t really even teach the class. First day of school, he stood up and said, “I’m going to be honest with you guys, we’re going to be learning this material together”.

He then pushed us all into online code camps. The beginning of every class, he also spent the first 20 minutes going over anything under the sun except for programming.

If your phone went off at any point during the class, he said that you had to buy the entire class donuts, but he was exempt from the rule.


37. Girls Learning Science? Ha!

Grade 9 science teacher told us that physics and chemistry used to be harder, but they had to make the subjects easier so that girls could do it.


38. Math: Forever Ruined

I had the same teacher for grades seven and eight.

Up until then, I had always been extremely good at math, I’m talking top of my class. Well, this particular teacher seemed to think that girls couldn’t be proficient in math and would assign me work that was harder than other students, under the auspices that he thought I should be “challenged”.

Then, when I couldn’t understand what I was being assigned, his reaction chilled me to the bone. He belittled me and made me feel stupid. This resulted in my confidence being shot and I never excelled in math again.

Also, he demanded my parents come in for a meeting where he basically told them I was a trollop because you could see a sliver of my stomach when I raised my arms sometimes.


39. Wrong Answers Only

High school in the mid-80s.

I took the school’s first ever computer class, taught by the gym teacher. She read straight from the book. If the book was wrong (and it was wrong a lot) then she was wrong and we had to answer wrong on the test or fail.


40. Straight up Degradation

A French teacher who made me hate French. She humiliated me in front of the class by making me get on my hands and knees and picking up a piece of trash with my mouth.

I was being punished for throwing an airplane while she went out to chit chat with another teacher. She was terrible. Always miserable, just a wretched woman.


41. The Importance of Understanding

A little bit of a backstory. My dad was a horrible father.

He cared more about how he looked in the community than he did actually being a good dad. My brother (18 months older than me) and I would be left at home all weekend with no transportation and no guidance while he played house with his girlfriend.

I was 11, my brother was 13.

Anyway, I got into trouble. I don’t blame this entirely on my dad, but as a kid so young and confused needed guidance, reinforcement, and discipline. My mother is bi-polar and my father kicked her out of the house, onto the street, and claimed that she was crazy and wanted to end us.

To my father, discipline meant him putting his fists in my face as often as possible.

He would make me stay home from school if I had black eyes or marks that showed. He locked me in my room when I was 14 for the entire summer with nothing but a radio (no books, nothing to draw on, no friends) for getting caught with cigs.

Anyway, I confided in a teacher in high school about all of my problems.

I really didn’t have many friends who I thought would understand, and I was also really embarrassed that I was powerless to stop him from hurting me.

So this teacher was someone I thought I could tell things to. I told her about my home life, being left alone for days at a time, not having food in the fridge (and we weren’t poor), having to stay at friends’ houses and their parents being responsible for me…

You know, just an entire list of bad stuff. Well, I cut school one afternoon.

I know, dumb. But I paid for it in an even darker way. Knowing all that this teacher did… she picked up the phone and called my dad. He beat me so freaking bad that I had huge purple bruises all over my back and ribs.

I went to school three days later, walked into the teachers’ lounge where she and about 10 other teachers were, raised up my shirt, and told her thanks.


42. Achoops

A teacher once told me that sand was a liquid, because you could pour it.

I then raised my hand and told her that if you had a big enough container, you could pour bowling balls. The class laughed, and about 10 minutes later I sneezed. That’s when she took it to the next level.

She claimed—with zero logic—that I had said a bad word, and sent me to the principal’s office.


Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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