We have come to know of many atrocious acts by evil rulers of the world, and it is time to know which female rulers throughout history were the most evil.

Even though the world has seen a lower number of female rulers compared male ones, a few of the female rulers have managed to leave behind some very dark stories. Messalina and Julia Agrippina were both married to Roman Emperor Claudius and thus held very influential positions in the empire. After the marriage, Messalina’s thirst for power continuously grew and she eventually tried to assassinate and overthrow Claudius in an attempt to bring her lover Gaius Sillus to power. Both Messalina and Julia Agrippina are also responsible for countless assassinations of political opponents. Where Messalina failed to replace the emperor, Agrippina actually managed to put her son, Nero on the throne. Mary I of Tudor and Isabella I of Spain are known for their zealous attempts to establish Catholic Christianity as the religion of the land. Both of them ordered the deaths of prominent Protestant leaders and also drove away many people who did not want to convert. Mary even received the moniker “Bloody Mary” for her cruel ruling. Empress Feiyan and Catherine de’ Medici rose from humble beginning to enter the royal courts. Once in power, they did despicable deeds to ensure challenges to their power never got any foothold. Jiang Qing is known for carrying out Mao Zedong’s purge. During the Cultural Revolution in China, she may have been responsible for persecuting 700,000 people. But the worst is Wu Zeitan who murdered her own son and daughter and also a good part of the imperial family just to stay in power.

Holding on to power is sometimes hard, but it does not require doing unspeakable things like these women. You can check out Insider Monkey’s 10 Most Evil Female Rulers in History if you think you have the stomach to go through their list of atrocities.