Festival Of Fear: Day 16 ~ Terrible Tortures, Part 3
Our next installment of Terrible Tortures have a few that I just can't even fathom. In particular, the very last one. But there are some ridiculously cruel ones before you get to that one, so read on....
23) IMPALEMENT - Everyone is familiar with this method thanks to the infamous Vlad the Impaler, the main influence for the Dracula legends. Victims were impaled on sharp poles via the rectum and left to die, the weight of their own body making it slowly sink to the ground. This could take hours to (worst case scenario) days. Horror fans will also be familiar with this type of torture if they have seen the infamous film, Cannibal Holocaust.
24) PITCHCAPPING - Devised by the British military back in the days of the Irish rebellion, it involves first shearing the head of hair, then pouring hot pitch (tar) into a paper cap (hat) and forcing it onto the victims head, meaning when the cap was cool and removed, it took the scalp with it. Somewhat similar to the scalping made popular by American Indians, the victim of pitchcapping would be traumatized and most likely disfigured for life.
25) STRAPPADO (a.k.a. REVERSE HANGING) - This type of hanging involves tying the victim's hands behind their back and then hoisting them off the ground, causing excruciating pain and dislocation of the arm joints. It was used to try to get a confession from the accused. Not just used in Medieval times, Strappado was unfortunately used in the concentration camps of WWII, the Vietnam War, and in the middle east to this day.
26) INTESTINAL CRANK - An absolutely fatal method of execution, this ghastly torture is performed by making an incision in the victims abdomen and attaching the upper part of the intestine to a crank, which is then rotated to remove the intestine as the victim watched. Not really much to add to that horrific visual.
27) WITCH'S (IRON) SPIDER / BREAST RIPPER - Mutilation is a popular type of torture, no doubt, and the breast ripper is one of the most offensive. The instrument was a claw-like tool that was often heated prior to torture and used to effectively mutilate and tear the breast off. It was used on women who were accused of witchcraft, adultery, or even to facilitate their own abortions. Yikes.
28) LETHAL INJECTION - A seemingly civilized way to kill someone, its use in capital punishment has been popular since many states in the USA have gotten away from both the electric chair and the gas chamber. Basically the prisoner is lying down as a series of injections are put into his vein and he slips into a coma, then death. However, when it doesn't work as quickly as it is intended to, it can cause the victim to gasp and fight for air for upwards of 20 minutes. A botched procedure in Oklahoma had its victim trying to get up well after he was declared unconsious, and was seen gasping, choking, trying to speak, and eventually seizing painfully for over 40 minutes.
29) KNEE SPLITTER - During the Inquisition, this device was two wooden blocks with screws or spikes in the middle. The knee was placed between and then the device was turned, impaling and crushing the knee.
30) HANGED, DRAWN & QUARTERED - Reserved for men convicted of high treason, this horrific means of death started by dragging the accused by horse to his place of death, then he is hanged until nearly dead, then drawn - which involved cutting off the genitals and burning them in front of the victim, then disemboweled and beheaded, followed by dismemberment (quartered). After which the parts of the body would be spread around the town in various locations in order to emote fear. Scotland's William Wallace died in this manner, which was shown in the movie Braveheart.
31) SPANISH DONKEY (a.k.a. WOODEN HORSE / DONKEY) - Victims were made to straddle a wooden device that is somewhat like a modern day sawhorse but with a sharply angled top. Their full weight is on their crotch and it soon causes irreparable damage to the genital area. Used during the Civil War, it was known as "Morgan's Mule". Tortured soldiers were made to "ride" the mule for hours at a time until they fell off in exhaustion.
32) THE SAW - Obviously fatal, sawing has been a popular form of execution since Roman times. It's also a self-explanatory method: saw the victim in half, whether it is through the abdomen, or down through the body transversely. Most victims were hung upside down and sawed through. Because the victim was upside down, all the blood would rush to the head, making death slower, and the victim more likely to be conscious longer to witness their own death.
33) RAT EXPOSURE - In what may be the most abominable form of torture and death, victims are laid down on a table, with a rat placed on their stomach. A metal cage would then be placed over the rat and hot coals would be placed on top, causing the rat to burrow and eat its way into the victim's bowels to find a way to escape the heat. The mere thought of this just horrifies me!