Throughout history, stories about the ways they used to torture people back then always send shivers down our spines.
Just imagine being in so much pain, but you can’t move, you can’t even shift to a more comfortable position because you are either restrained or tied. You won’t have a choice but to wait for your death because those that tortured you made sure you’ll die a slow excruciating death and that you’ll feel every single pain until then.
What a nightmare, right? It makes you feel really thankful that you are born in this century where most of the old-time tortures are not openly practiced anymore.
So, sit back, relax, your hands are free, you are not being tortured but you will be taken on a journey through some of the most gruesome torture methods ever used.
1. The Sicilian Bull
This torture method was designed in ancient Greece. A solid piece of bull-shaped brass was cast, it had a door on its side that can be opened and locked. The victim was placed inside and a fire was started underneath it. With little space to move, the victim will be forced to endure the pain of being roasted slowly. The bull was made of brass so it will glow yellow when it becomes hot. It is also designed to amplify the screams of the person inside, it made it seem like a bellowing bull.
For centuries, the name “Dracula” is not what comes to our mind today. It simply conveys the name of the rulers of Wallachia around 14th or 15th century. So this one ruler, the third of his name, Vlad Dracula III is the known impale torturer. It was said that he had tortured more than 20,000 people and did so while he enjoyed his meal.
The impalement torture method was done by impaling a person while he stood on the ground, and then when the rod goes through the person’s body, the rod was raised upright. Leaving the victim to slide down the rod in agonizing pain that usually lasted for three days before death finally takes them.
3. Heretics Fork
This torture device had bi-pronged forks that were attached to a belt that was strapped to the victim’s neck. Each end of the fork had a sharp end that pressed into the victim’s chin and sternum. The victim is then suspended so he can’t go to sleep. If his head dropped, the ends of the fork pierced.
4. Neck Torture
This torture device is a very humiliating and extremely painful torture method that left the victim unable to relax in a comfortable position. The victims were forced to not sleep, eat, lie down or even lower their heads for days until the tiredness took its toll on them.
5. The Judas Cradle
This torture method included the victim tied suspended and stretched beyond his limit while a pyramid-shaped cradle was placed under him, which forced the tip to enter his behind. What added to the humiliation is that the victim is naked and the cradle was seldom washed, so if the torture didn’t kill the victim, the infection did.
6. Lead Sprinkler
This rattle-like torture device was used by filling the ball part with lead, boiling water, boiling oil, tar or silver. The victim was sprayed with the contents, usually in their stomachs or in other parts like their eyes which left them with agonizing pain and eventual death.
7. Iron Maiden
The iron maiden is a torture and interrogation device that is like an iron cabinet that is full of spikes inside. The victims were locked inside the device with the tips of the spikes nearly touching their body in all directions. An interrogator then screamed questions to the victim while poking them through the holes forcing them to move and get pierced.
8. Metal Coffin
One of the most preferred torture methods during the Middle Ages was this metal coffin torture. The victim is locked inside a metal cage that is just right for his size, rarely was the victim able to sit down or move into a comfortable position. Overweight victims were also forced inside smaller cages to add to their discomfort. The victims were just left suspended in the air until they die and the crows come to eat their remains.
9. The Tub
The tub is a simple but gruesome torture method that was sometime’s called “sitting in a tub.” The victim would be placed inside a tub with only their head sticking out, their face was painted with milk and honey so that the flies and bees would feed on them. They were also regularly fed, so the water in the tub will be filled with their excrements until maggots and worms devour them alive.
Thumbscrews were first used during the medieval times to extract confessions from victims. Every twist of the screw tightens the grip on the victim’s toes of fingers until the bones are crushed. Bigger devices also existed which were designed to crush knees or elbows and even the heads of the victims.
11. The Rack
Many believe that this is the most painful torture method during the medieval times. The rack was like a box made of wood that was designed to dislocate all the victim’s bones. Once the victim was tied the ropes securing his hands and feet are tied to a wood with handles that the torturers can turn. In every turn, the victim will be stretched until all his bones are dislocated. What was worse is that the torturers, not sure whether the bones were already dislocated, would not stop turning until the limbs were actually torn off the body.
12. Tongue Tearer
This device was usually used with the mouth opener. The victim had his mouth forcefully opened while the tongue-tearer twitched the tongue until it got a secure grip. Then in every twist of the screw, the tearer becomes tighter until it is able to cut off the tongue.
13. Rat Torture
One of the most sadistic torture methods during the medieval times was the rat torture. Confined in a box with only one opening that is facing the victim’s body, rodents are trapped and heated. Having nowhere to go to escape the heat, the rodents’ instincts were to burrow through the victim’s body. Making sure he dies in an excruciating, and not to mention disgusting, way.
14. The chair of torture
Designed with 500 to 1500 spikes and spaces to pass heat, this spiky chair is a common element inside dungeons during the Middle Ages. Also called the Judas chair, this chair is design to humiliate the victim while being strapped tighly, note that the legs are also pinned down so the victim will not be able to raise his behind.
15. Cement Shoes
This method was introduced by the Mafia when they killed spies, enemies and traitors by placing the feet of the victim inside cinder boxes and then pouring cement over them. Once the cement was dry, the victims were thrown into a river leaving them to drown without a way to float.
16. Breast Ripper
Another sadistic torture device that was specifically made for women was the breast ripper. It has four claws that are usually heated until red, it was then placed on exposed breast on the side and then jerking and ripping away pulling away chunks of flesh at it rips the breast.
This is kind of tiring, just reading about these methods is saddening, what more if you were the one being tortured. Thankfully, we can relax as these methods are not openly used today anymore, I think.
Image via List 25.