Saturday, 16 February 2013

Shocking Medieval Torture Devices


The Astounding Inventions Designed To Cause Maximum Pain To The Unfortunate Victim

What i find incredible when looking at some of these machines is the ingenuity put into the design of the device, the designers must have put hours of thought into their inventions, looking at them now it seems amazing how a human being could be capable of wanting to inflict so much pain and damage on a fellow human, these devices which would look out of place in a current torture horror film were in everyday use at certain times in history.

THE BRAZEN BULL: To my mind this is probably the most heinous of all the devices designed for torture that will be mentioned here, the Brazen Bull was a huge bronze statue that was hollow inside, the victim would normally have their tongue removed before being placed inside and the hinged doors would be shut, fires would be lit below the bull, as the victim felt the searing heat inside, the crowd watching would hear the muted screams from the victim appearing as if the bull was alive. Legend has it that the device was invented by an evil minded Greek by the name of Perillus for a particular tyrannical leader named Phalaris of Agrigentum, Perillus expecting a great reward for his sick invention deservedly became its first victim, after mistreating his subjects the tyrannical Phalaris also eventually found himself inside the nightmarish bull

THE RACK: One of the better known torture devices the Rack was used throughout medieval Europe, it was a particular favorite of the Spanish Inquisition. The basic Rack consisted of a mechanical device where all four limbs would be tied with ropes then a crank or turning wheel would be turned to then stretch the victims limbs, sometimes other tortures would be added to increase the pain, for example a fire would be lit below the victims body, in one particular case, a young christian boy, the fire below was only extinguished by the boys dripping blood as his limbs were torn from his body!

THE IRON MAIDEN: In the 1800s a version of this device was found in Nuremburg in Germany with documentation that proved its use, until this time the device was considered to be so evil and fiendish it was believed to be fictional. The Iron Maiden was an upright sarcophagus with spikes fitted to the inside of its doors, the victim would be put inside and then the doors would be closed. The spikes would be long enough to pierce the victims major organs, including two spikes that would pierce the eyes , but short enough not to cause instant death, the victim would suffer an agonizing death that would take several hours.

THE BREAST RIPPER AND THE PEAR OF ANGUISH:  Some torturers would take particular delight in the torture of women, the tortures being especially designed to destroy the victims femininity. The Breast Ripper was a claw shaped device that was used to pierce the breast, the woman was normally tied to a wall then the Ripper was torn from the breast tearing the breast to pieces. If having breasts torn to pieces is not bad enough, the Pear of Anguish offered even more painful humiliation. The pear shaped device consisted of four metal leaves joined by a hinge that could be opened by a crank, the device would be inserted into the vagina or anus of the victim and then opened ,causing massive internal damaged.

The Breast Ripper

The Pear of Anguish

THE SCAVENGERS DAUGHTER: This apparatus consisted of a loop of iron with a hinge placed in the middle, the victim would be forced to crouch on top of one half of the loop while the top half of the loop was pivoted over the top of the victims back. The torturer would screw to tighten the loop further and further crushing the victim into an involuntary crouch, the spine would be dislocated and ribs would crack, eventually blood would gush from the hands and face. This torture was a favorite of Queen Elizabeth 1, foisted on Protestants accused of treason.

The Scavengers Daughter in action.

 THUMB SCREWS:  A well known torture, not designed to kill but just to cause maximum pain. The traditional thumb screw consisted of three upright metal bars into which the thumbs were placed, a horizontal wooden bar was then screwed down slowly until the thumbs were crushed. These devices were initially used by the Russian Army as a punishment for misbehaving soldiers.


THE BOOTS: This must have been one of the most painful tortures of all, the victims legs were bound together between two planks of wood and bound with cords, wedges of wood would be placed between the cords which the torturers would then hammer, each time shattering a piece of bone. When the cords and planks would finally be removed, the victims legs literally would be a bag of bones.

THE HANGING CAGE:   The unlucky victim was usually placed in the cage naked and left open to the extremes either hot or cold, the victim would starve to death or die of exposure, this could take weeks.

IMPALEMENT:  Not much brain power was needed to invent this torture it was simplicity itself. The unfortunate victim would be impaled to the ground by a lengthy spike which would pass through the victims posterior an exited through the mouth, incredibly the victim could last for more than a day in this state.


THE SAW:   The attached picture tells the whole story with this one.

It seems amazing today to see images of some of these devices that were used for torture in the past. Who enacted the torture? What sort of mind could invent or commit such atrocities? 
Be thankful you were not born in medieval times.

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