Death by Chandelier
May 20, 1896 - On this day, the massive chandelier that loomed over the majestic Paris Opera plummeted into the audience below. A counterweight had failed and the 6-ton baroque behemoth came crashing down.
A construction worker was killed, and the incident would inspire Gaston Leroux to write The Phantom of the Opera.
The building that houses the chandelier is called the Palais Garnier. It is considered one of the greatest architectural masterpieces of all time. It's also one of the creepiest gothic places in the world. The classic design is dripping with gilded cherubs and Greek gods. It's built atop an ancient underground lake that Parisian firefighters use for training their divers to swim in total darkness.
In 1964 Marc Chagall was commissioned to paint a massive mural on the main ceiling over the audience. It still serves as the backdrop for the deadly chandelier.