Top 10 Most Cruel Rulers Ever in History

Take a look at the below list of Top 10 Most Cruel Rulers Ever in History. When an individual is given the opportunity to rule a nation or a group of people they usually try to govern in a fair and responsible manner. However, there are some people who come into power who abuse their position. Throughout history there has always been terrible governors who ruled with a heavy hand and with bad intentions. These leaders have caused unimaginable suffering and horrible cruelty for thousands or even millions.

The following list will describe some of the most disturbing and misguided rulers in the history of the world. These heads of state had the desire to bring about destruction, death and mayhem into the lives of the people they governed. Their legacy of evil was so terrible during their time in power that it continues to shock people today.

List of Top 10 Most Cruel Rulers Ever in History

10. Attila the Hun

Attila the Hun Top Most Popular Cruel Rulers Ever in History 2018

Attila the Hun and his brother, Bleda, took over the Hun empire around 436 A.D. By this time Attila was a young and strong man who was filled with a desire to lead the Huns into their golden age. The Huns were a group of marauding tribes that came out of Central Asia and Western Europe. Toward the end of the Roman Empire they made sure that this great place never rose to glory again. The Huns played a significant role with ensuring that Rome was defeated once and for all.

Attila’s cruelty was known in terms of his battle tactics and how he dealt with his people. In the past, Attila was known as the Scourge of God. He earned this reputation from the way he slaughtered his foes on the battlefield and for the way he dealt with his people at times.

Many Roman Christians saw Attila as a demonic barbarian who showed no mercy to the Christian people. The Huns saw him as a genius, brilliant leader and a madman who dealt firmly with them at certain times. Ultimately, Attila’s cruelty and way of life would make him one of the worse rulers in all of his history.

9. Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan Top Most Famous Cruel Rulers Ever in History 2018

Temujin grew up as a poor and illiterate boy. He came from an insignificant family within his tribe and he had very little in the world in terms of possessions and power. However, once he became a warrior he changed this situation around. He quickly realized that ruthlessness, force and withholding mercy were the best ways for a person to gain power and the things they want in life. Eventually, Temujin used these attributes to help thrust him into the leadership of Mongol tribes. Temujin then became known as Genghis Khan.

By the time he became Genghis Khan, he was ruling with an iron rod. He killed people without flinching, he watched people die without any regard to saving them and he dealt ruthlessly with any of his people who did not fall in line with his will. The Mongol tribal members knew that Genghis was a warrior that did not play with people. Life meant very little to this ruler. If a person was not careful, he would have quickly taken it from them without hesitation.

8. Pol Pot


Pol Pot was only in power for 3 years but during his short reign he managed to kill and devastate millions of people lives. Pol Pot had people ruthlessly imprisoned, beaten, tortured and maimed. He starved thousands of his own people in Cambodia and took great joy in watching them suffer. As the Khmer Rouge and the Prime Minister of Cambodia, he also took great pleasure in knowing that he was causing his people to starve and to wither away in disease and turmoil. Pol Pot enjoyed his cruelty and his deadly rain in Cambodia during the 70s will forever be remembered as one of the worst times in the history of the Cambodian people.

7. Vlad Tepes


Believe it or not Count Dracula was a real person. Well, the myth of the vampire is not true but the person who would influence the personality of Dracula is real. His name was Vlad Tepes and he ruled the European Empire Wallachia during the 15th century. Vlad Tepes was a disturbed ruler who helped to keep the Christian kingdoms in Eastern Europe safe from the invading Turks.

However, Vlad had a dark side. He enjoyed killing people and watching them die as they were being tortured and brutalized. He ate his food among the corpses. He drank his wine among the dead bodies that he had mutilated. Bats and other vermin would circle or come onto the battlefield and Vlad would relish in the mayhem and destruction that surrounded him.

Tepes was also known as Vlad the Impaler. His atrocities as a rulers were well recorded and known. He forced women to eat the barbecued bodies of their dead children. He skinned people and cut off their sexual organs. Vlad the Impaler knew no bounds to his sickening cruelty and mistreatment of the people he conquered and the people ruled.

6. Ivan IV “the Terrible” of Russia

Ivan IV of Russia Famous Cruel Rulers Ever in History 2019

“Grozny” was the name given to Ivan IV of Russia. He was a brilliant 16th century Russian ruler who was highly intelligent and effective; but he also had a dark side to him as well. Ivan had an extremely troubling childhood.

His younger years consisted of the severe torture of animals, lots of murders, beatings and death and plenty of alcohol. He ran with a gang, lived in poverty and constantly had to avoid men who wanted to kill him. This is where Ivan developed his terrible side. In history he became known as Ivan the Terrible.

Ivan did some pretty bizarre things during his rule. He committed drunken sacrilege in the main churches of the Russian Empire where he tore out men’s chest and ribs. He made peasant women strip naked and then used them for target practice.

He threw people to wild dogs to be eaten alive and he drowned beggars in lakes. Ivan might have done a lot of good for the Russian Empire during his day but his cruelty would never be forgotten. He truly is one of the worst rulers in all of history.

5. Adolf Eichmann

Adolf Eichmann Top 10 Most Cruel Rulers Ever in History 2017

Adolf Eichmann was not necessarily a ruler but he was a subordinate and protégé of Adolf Hitler. The reason why Eichmann is being included on this list is because of his involvement with the Holocaust. Eichmann masterminded this horrible even. In other words, he took Hitler’s plans and elaborated on them to create the Death Camps that were used to slaughter so many people.

He set up the system of deportation that would put millions of Jewish people into the Death Camps. The horrible acts of the Nazi Death Camps will not be discussed here. What will be noted is Eichmann’s response to killing so many Jews.

When he finally captured and put to death, he said this quote before he died: “The death of five million Jews on my conscience gives me extraordinary satisfaction.” Eichmann was not sorry about anything that he had done. He was found by the Mossad living in obscurity right before his capture in Buenos Aires.He is one of the Top 10 Most Cruel Rulers Ever in History.

4. Leopold II of Belgium


Leopold II of Belgium was a powerful ruler who dominated the Republic of Congo during the late 19th century. He never set foot in the Congo but his policies certainly caused a region with over 20 million people to dwindle down to less than 10 million within a 20-year time period.

Leopold had his representatives in the Congo sign over their power to him. Actually, he forced them to give up their power in the process. After gaining control, Leopold set up policies that forced millions of African people to gather resources for his empire. He also had his people use various technologies of the time to convince the people of Congo that they had magical powers.

Leopold also had stolen the land and severely mismanaged it. As a result, whole entire tribes starved and many barely had enough to eat. Belgium forces had even kidnapped the women and held them hostage while the tribal men had to procure rubber.

Babies were thrown in the grass, people were gutted out in the open and many were tied up in cords and marched off to a live of hard labor. Leopold II of Belgium was a brutal ruler who will never be forgotten.

3. Josef Stalin

Josef Stalin Top 10 Most Cruel Rulers Ever in History

Josef Stalin was alive and in charge of Russia during an age when dictatorships were in vogue. Stalin was a contemporary of Hitler and quite arguably more brutal. However, Stalin did not impact the world on the level like Hitler. Even though this is the case he caused 20 million people of his country-men to be slaughtered. Stalin was ruthless and made it a point to rule with an iron hand. He killed many people he thought would challenge his rule or people he thought did not matter. Stalin helped to defeat Hitler and his rule helped to bring about the Cold War.

2. Saddam Hussein


Saddam Hussein has been added to this list of worst rulers because of the horrible things he done to people during his time in power. Hussein tortured and maimed and gassed people. Hussein was such a messed up ruler that he had the deaths of his tortured victims put onto film. Once the filming was complete, Hussein would watch these maddening pictures at his home. Saddam’s madness really came to the light after he invaded Kuwait. His actions started the Desert Gulf War and it was the beginning of his end.

1. Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler Top Popular Cruel Rulers Ever in History 2017

Adolph Hitler is arguably the world’s worst ruler. This man literally sent millions of men to their death and caused millions more to brutally suffer. Hitler was a genius, madman and ruthless personality Yes, he did help to transform Germany into a powerhouse of a nation but he created a lot of destruction during the process. His policies pertaining to race and the conquest altered the course of history. Hitler’s rule will forever be a turning point for the German people, the Jewish race and for all of humanity. Very few people will ever forget the tyranny, injustice, pain and death that this tyrannical ruler brought to this world.He is on the top among the Top 10 Most Cruel Rulers Ever in History.