Medieval Torture Devices That Will Horrify You


One of the most violent eras of world history was during the dark ages. Lasting for roughly 1,000 years, it was a time of extensive inequality and brutality.

The cruel imagination of people living during that era gave rise to a plethora of torture techniques, shown here:

The Judas Cradle

This gruesome punishment made the victim sit on a pyramid-shaped cradle, after which they were forced down on it by ropes with the intent of stretching the body of victim, over a long period of time. The victim was usually naked and the device was almost never washed. So if by chance, the torture did not kill you, the infection contracted from the device definitely will.


Coffin Torture

The most popular torture technique in the Middle Ages was Coffin torture. This method involved placing the victim inside a metal cage (which was roughly the size of a human body). The torturers also forced obese victims into smaller cages to amplify their discomfort as they hung from a tree. Generally, they would be left there until the vultures came to feed on their remains.


Brazen Bull

It originated in ancient Greece and is also known as Sicilian bull. It was actually a hollow brass bull statue designed to resemble a real bull. Victims were placed inside, usually with their tongues cut out first and then the door was shut, securing them in. Moreover, fire was set underneath it. The sufferer was then slowly roasted to death. The bull was purposely designed to intensify the screams of victim and make them sound like the bellowing of a bull.


The Rack

One of the most brutal devices from the Medieval times, the rack was basically a wooden platform, with rollers at both its ends. Hands and feet of the victim were tied to each end and the rollers were turned, stretching their bodies to uncomfortable lengths.


The Pillory

A pillory is a set of two wooden boards tightly clasped together. The wooden planks also had holes for the neck and wrists. Victim was made to place their head and arms through the holes. Then the pillory was closed leaving no space for victim to escape.


The Head Crusher

The head crusher did exactly what it was called. The chin sat on the bottom rung and the head under the cap. On turning the screws, it would result in a very barbaric death with brains seeping out of the popped eye sockets.


Heretics Fork

This torture device was basically a metal piece with opposed bi-pronged forks on its each end attached to a strap. One end of the device was pushed under the chin and the other into the sternum and the strap was used to lock the neck to the tool while the victim was somehow suspended so that he did not sleep. If his head dropped, the prongs would pierce their throat and chest.


Torture Chair

Also known as the Judas Chair, it was a terribly intimidating torture device. This chair was layered with 500 to 1,500 spikes on every surface with super tight straps to restrain its victim. It also had spaces for heating elements beneath the seat.


The Rat Torture

Being in a closed room with rats is torture enough but probably, this is not enough for the medieval times. One of the most inhuman of all torture methods involved a cage with one open side strapped against the body of victim. It would then be filled with large rodents and a heating element would be placed on the other side of the cage. Following which the rodents would try to escape the heat and burrow through the body of the sufferer with deadly results.


Scold’s Bridle

A Scold’s bridle, also called as Brank’s bridle, was an instrument of punishment used primarily on women. The device was an iron muzzle in an iron framework, which enclosed the head. A bridle-bit, about 2 inches long, projected into the mouth and pressed down on top of the tongue. It was often spiked, to make the movement of the tongue almost impossible.


Breast Ripper

This is one was specifically designed for women torture during medieval times. Used to cause major blood loss, the claws, were often heated red hot and were placed on the exposed breasts. The device was then pulled or jerked causing large chunks of flesh to come off with it.


Knee Splitter

Used commonly during the Spanish Inquisition, the knee splitter, as it is named, was used to split knees of victim. The device consisted of two spiked wood blocks with a screw at its back. It was clamped on the front and back of the knee. Just one turn of the screw and, victim’s knee were easily, and painfully, crippled.


The Spanish Tickler

This horrifying device was used in most of the Europe during Middle Ages. It is a very simple device used to tear a victim’s skin apart and because of its shape neither bones nor muscles were spared. The torture often began with the limbs and slowly moved into the chest, back, neck and finally the face.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *