10 Most Brutal Torture Techniques Used in History
Here are 10 most brutal torture techniques ever devised. People have injected a sense of creativity into the creation of devices designed to inflict pain.
Hanged, Drawn, and Quartered
To be hanged, drawn and quartered was a punishment in England used for men found guilty of high treason.
The full punishment was made up of the following - the victim was:
- Dragged, usually by a horse, on a wooden frame to the place where he was to be publicly put to death. This is one possible meaning of drawn. A more likely meaning of drawn is the removal of the inner organs.
- Hanged by the neck for a short time or until almost dead.
- Removed from hanging and placed on a table. Still alive, the victim was cut open in the abdomen and his intestines and sex organs removed. The removed organs were burned in a flame, prepared close to the prisoner.
- The victim's head was cut off, and the rest of the body hacked into four parts or quarters (quartered).
The Saw was widely used throughout the Middle Ages, mainly because the tools required were found in most houses and no complex devices were required. It was a cheap way to torture and kill a victim who was often accused of: witchery, adultery, murder, blasphemy or even theft.
A wooden horse (or Spanish donkey)
A wooden horse (or Spanish donkey) is a torture device for women, of which there exist two variations; both inflict pain by using the subject's own weight to apply pressure to her genitals. The French called this instrument the Chevalet, from the French diminutive of cheval, horse.
Republican marriage was a form of execution that allegedly occurred in Nantes during the Reign of Terror in Revolutionary France and "involved tying a naked man and woman together and drowning them". This was reported to have been practised during the drownings at Nantes that were ordered by local Jacobin representative-on-mission Jean-Baptiste Carrier between November 1793 and January 1794 in the city of Nantes. Most accounts indicate that the victims were drowned in the Loire River, although a few sources describe an alternative means of execution in which the bound couple is run through with a sword, either before, or instead of drowning.
The Breaking Wheel
The breaking wheel, also known as the Catherine wheel or simply the wheel, was a torture device used for capital punishment from antiquity into early modern times for public execution by breaking the criminal's bones/bludgeoning him to death. As a form of execution, it was used from classical times into the 18th century; as a form of post mortem punishment of the criminal, the wheel was still in use in 19th-century Germany.
Rats may be used to torture a victim by encouraging them to attack and eat him alive. The "Rats Dungeon" or "Dungeon of the Rats" was a feature of the Tower of London alleged by Roman Catholic writers from the Elizabethan era. "A cell below high-water mark and totally dark" would draw in rats from the River Thames as the tide flowed in. Prisoners would have their "alarm excited" and in some instances have "flesh ... torn from the arms and legs".
The Chair of Torture
Also known as the Judas Chair, the Chair of Torture was a terrible device of the Middle Ages. It was used until the late 1800's in Europe. There are many variants of the chair. They all have one thing in common: spikes cover the back, arm-rests, seat, leg-rests and foot-rests. The number of spikes in one of these chairs ranges from 500 to 1,500.
Cement shoes is a slang term adopted by the American Mafia crime world for a method of execution that involves weighting down a victim and throwing him or her into the water to drown. It has become adopted in the US as a humorous term representing any exotic threat from criminals. This gives rise to the term of someone who "sleeps with the fishes", a euphemism for the deceased. It was frequently used by the Gambino crime family in the prohibition era.
The Breast Ripper, known in another form as the Iron Spider or simply The Spider, was a torture instrument mainly used on women who were accused of adultery, or self-abortion. The instrument was designed to rip the breasts from a woman and was made from iron, which was usually heated.
The crocodile shears had a very specific purpose: To mutilate those who attempted to assassinate the king. The interior design closely resembles a tube containing numerous spikes on both ends. Although it was sometimes used to mutilate the fingers, its most common purpose was to mutilate a man's penis.
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