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Evelyn McHale: The Most Beautiful Suicide And The Ghost Of The Empire State Building

Evelyn Francis McHale, a beautiful young American bookkeeper who was born on September 20, 1923 in Berkeley, California had committed suicide on May 1, 1947, leaving behind an unforgettable dying wish that no one sees her body. But in reality, history has refused to forget her.

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On April 30, 1947, Evelyn took a train from New York to Easton, Pennsylvania to visit her then-fiance Barry Rhodes. The next day, after leaving Rhodes' residence, she returned to New York City to take her own life by committing suicide. Evelyn was just 23 years old when she plunged to her death from the 86th floor observation deck of the Empire State Building in New York and landed on a limousine parked at the curb.

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⌻ Evelyn McHale | The Most Beautiful Suicide
Photography student Robert Wiles took this photo of her corpse just a few minutes after her death, which depicts her body to be unnaturally intact, considering the enormous height she fell from. It seems like she intentionally had her legs crossed and her hands on her pearl which could be assumed that she was just relaxing or posing for a photo shoot. Consequently, this photograph becomes the iconic in all over the world and was ranked the picture of the week in the issue of Life magazine on May 12, 1947.



Evelyn wrote a beautiful sad note on why she could not live another day. Excerpts from her suicide note read:

I don’t want anyone in or out of my family to see any part of me. Could you destroy my body by cremation? I beg of you and my family – don’t have any service for me or remembrance for me.
My fiance asked me to marry him in June. I don’t think I would make a good wife for anybody. He is much better off without me. Tell my father, I have too many of my mother’s tendencies.

Even though in her last wishes, Evelyn didn't want anyone to see her body, but the infamous picture of her last moments has eventually lived on for decades and her death is referred to as “the most beautiful suicide.” However, keeping with her wishes, her body was indeed cremated with no memorial, service or grave.

In the quest of knowing what transpired between her and Barry before she reached the scene, Barry told the investigation department that he had no clue regarding why she would take her life. He further elaborated on how he had kissed her bye and she giggled about their upcoming wedding.

Subsequently, it was concluded that Evelyn McHale was scared of being like her mom. She also believed she wouldn’t be the perfect wife for Barry. Logically, it rings that her parent’s divorce affected her psychologically as a child. Her mom left her Dad for no obvious reasons and was later diagnosed with mental illness.

Evelyn first hinted at her ill feelings towards marriage at Barry’s brother’s wedding where she tore her dress after serving as a bridesmaid and later burnt the dress.


The iconic lights of the Empire State Building first lit up in 1931. Soaring 102 stories toward the sky the building was the tallest in the world in that time. The 1933 film King Kong made the Empire State Building even more famous. Today when the skyscraper is lit up at night it's still one of the most gorgeous parts of New York City’s skyline.

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⌻ The Empire State Building, New York City
Unfortunately, along with its beauty, the Empire State Building also has a very unpleasant history of suicides bizarre deaths. Many claim one of the reasons of all these macabre events is a female ghost who is seen on the building's 86th-floor observation deck from where Evelyn jumped to her death. It's believed that the tragedy of Evelyn McHale's shocking death still haunts the Empire State Building.

During the building's history over 30 people have committed suicide by jumping. In 1947 alone, in a three-week period, five people committed suicide. One of these jumpers hit a pedestrian walking past on the street below. This and so many deaths in a short span of time forced the building authority to build an enclosed fence around the perimeter of the Empires State’s observation platform. “Suicide guards” were also hired to patrol the area.

In so many paranormal cases, it's very common that an unnatural death or accident causes a particular place to be haunted, repeating the same tragedy again and again in the same way. So it's very normal for people to assume the incident of Evelyn's tragic death as the main reason of all those weird suicide cases. However, some state the ghost that is seen is actually of a widow who committed suicide after World War ll. This woman is said to lose her lover in a battle in Germany.


Apart from these, people also recite another story about the ghost of a pretty young woman wearing old-fashioned 1940s style clothing, who has often been seen on the Empire’s observation deck. Witnesses claim that this ghost talked to them, expressing sadness and then they saw her to remove her coat and leap to her death through the barrier fence – as if it wasn’t even there. Some of the witnesses have also reported that after seeing her jump, they then were even more shocked later to see her again in the woman’s restroom looking in a mirror and touching up her make-up. Some have followed her and seen her jump once more. It appears this ghost is doomed to reenact her final moments over and over again.

After learning about Evelyn McHale's tragic death – the most beautiful suicide, read about The vulture and the little girl – a rudiment of Carter's death. Then, read about A thousand deaths at Mount Mihara – the Japan's most infamous suicide volcano. [source]
Evelyn McHale: The Most Beautiful Suicide And The Ghost Of The Empire State Building Evelyn McHale: The Most Beautiful Suicide And The Ghost Of The Empire State Building Reviewed by Mysteriesrunsolved on February 10, 2019 Rating: 5

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