Throughout history, human beings have created extremely cruel torture devices designed to cause huge pain. While some of these devices were designed to face a slow, painful death, many inflicted so much pain and left such damage that the victims died of blood-loss or infections. Many torture methods and contractions, like the head crushers, breast ripper, or crocodile shears, which were designed to deform the victim, but ended up killing the victim. But many torture devices left the victim to deal with lifelong agony and deformity. Let us take a look at Cruel Torture Devices Designed to Cause Huge Pain.
10 Most Cruel Torture Devices of All Time:
10. Scold’s Bridle
16th century Scotland and England used Scold’s Bridle on women considered as witches, shrews or scolds, particularly for public humiliation. It was an iron mask which attached to a helmet. The contraption was attached to the head of the woman, and the bridle-bit, which measured 2” long and 1” wide, and was studded with spikes, would be inserted into the mouth. This effectively stopped the person from speaking or even moving the tongue, or she would undergo cause immense pain.
9. Tongue Tearer
A Tongue Tearer looked like an extra-large pair of scissors. It was used to cut off the tongue of the victim without any effort. The mouth of the victim would first be forced open using a device called a mouth opener. After that the Tngue Tearer, made of iron, would be used to firmly clasp his tongue with the rough grippers of the device. The tongue of the person being tortured would then be twitched uncomfortably. Then, after tightening the screw, tongue would be torn out roughly.
8. Lead Sprinkler
A Lead Sprinkler was one of the cruel torture devices designed to cause huge pain. The device was usually filled with molten lead, though other liquids such as tar, boiling oil, water, etc., were also used, at high temperature, which could severely scald skin. The victim was tortured using this device by dripping the hot and burning content onto the stomach or other parts of the body, including the eyes. Even molten silver would be poured on the victim’s eyes, to produce the most fatal effects.
7. Knee Splitter
Knee Splitters were employed in the 12th century, during the Inquisition. The contraption had two wooded blocks with spikes. The number of spikes ranged from 3 to 20, and depended on the gravity of the crime committed by the person being punished. These spikes are driven into the flesh of the victim, and once the spikes are embedded into the victim’s leg, the blocks are drawn closer to each other using two large screws, to slowly pulverize the knee, just as the device’s name suggests.
6. Thumb Screws
Thumb Screws, also called Pilliwinks, were used in Medieval Europe as a cruel torture devices designed to cause huge pain. It was used to crush the thumb, fingers and toes of the victim, which were inserted into the contraption, with screws cranking down to pulverize the digits. Sometimes, the crushing bars would have spikes to intensify the pain. Weirdly, during Renaissance eras of England, these were used to straighten and elongate a woman’s fingers, to make them elegant.
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5. Heretic’s Fork/Neck Torture
Heretic’s Fork was metal device with two bi-pronged forks attached to a belt strapped round the victim’s neck, with one fork pointed to the chin, and the other to the sternum, while the victim remained suspended. The device prevented sleep, because, the prongs would pierce their throat and chest if the head dropped. The Neck Torture worked similarly, with a metal or wooden device studded with spikes around the victim’ neck preventing eating, lying down, or any other activity.
4. Scavenger’s Daughter
Queen Elizabeth I used Scavenger’s Daughter, also called Skeffington’s gyves, invented by a Brit named Skevington, against Protestants accused of treason. The apparatus had an iron hoop. The victim had to to sit on one half of it, with the other half crushing him further into an involuntary rigid crouch, as the screw would tighten the hinge in the middle. This would eventually crack the victim’s ribs and breastbone and dislocate the spine. It could even lead to bleeding from fingertips and face.
The Rack, used in Europe, came in many forms, like the Horse. Basically, the victim would be tied down, as a mechanical device, tightened the rope to dislocate the joints, often long enough to tear the limbs off. In case of a Horse, the victim was to the top of a beam, i.e. Horse-back, facing up, while, pulleys below tightened the ropes. The Strappado, used in Palestine, does not have a base for the body to lie on, but the tied arms were wrenched out of the joints of the hanging prisoner.
2. Pear of Anguish
Pears of Anguish were metal tools, mainly for women. Different kinds were inserted into the vagina of a woman, or the mouth or throat of the person being tortured. Shaped like a pear, the device had four ‘leaves’ which were operated by a screw at the top. Once inserted into the orifice of a person for abortion, witchery, miscarriage, homosexuality, adultery, blasphemy, lies, etc., to spread it open, tearing the muscles, causing permanent internal damage, or to dislocate or break jawbones.
1. The Judas Cradle
Judas Cradle was torture device, not designed to kill, but to inflict pain and humiliation. With a steel collar attached to the victim’s waist, a pyramid-shaped tool would be impaled into his intently stretched orifice. The pressure caused excessive pain. The torturer could lift the victim with rope and pulley system and lower him again, driving the penetrative part deeper into the victim. Torture sessions lasted for days. Also, the device was rarely washed, causing life-threatening infections.
The physical conditions in which the victims were left from the cruel torture devices designed to cause huge pain would not only incapacitate them, but also screamed of their criminal history, almost always, even if the crimes were as trivial as petty theft, or they were not criminals, at all, and yet were punished on the basis of just accusation, or for alternate sexuality. Though not a frequent happening, death occurred, too. If that didn’t happen, the torturers and punishers made sure that these torture devices were supplemented with other forms of painful torture and humiliation.