Festival Of Fear: Day 30 ~ Terrible Tortures, Part 5
And finally, we've reached the end of our exhaustive, quite extensive lists of torture methods and devices. What are you waiting for...... Here we go.
45) TORTURE CHAIR (a.k.a. JUDAS CHAIR, IRON CHAIR) - One of the most evil-looking forms of torture was a chair covered in spikes in which a prisoner would be forced to sit. The torturer would then tighten the restraints in order to push the sharp points into flesh. Worse yet, they were often made to endure an even worse fate when the chair would be placed over hot coals or a fire and the victim would slow-roast to death.
46) THE BRAZEN BULL - Invented in Ancient Greece, this device was a life-sized statue of a bull which was hollow to hold a prisoner/victim. They would then be locked in and the bull would have a roaring fire lit underneath it, causing the victim to burn alive. Even more creative was when a series of hollow tubes were added so that the screams of the dying victim would sound like an angry bull.
47) STONING - Dating back to Ancient Greece, stoning has long been a form of capital punishment the world over and remains in use to this day. It is rather self-explanatory: victims have stones thrown at them until they die. In similar fashion, Giles Corey was pressed to death during the Salem witch trials of 1692. His accusers laid heavy stones on top of his chest and kept adding to try to force a confession of witchcraft from the man. He refused, and died after 32 boulders were laid on his body, forcing his insides out through his mouth, ending his life.
48) BURNING ALIVE - Speaking of witchcraft, this form of execution was used before accused witches were burned at the stake, and well before the time of Christ. It continues to this day in various incarnations. Some of the various torturous deaths: the Celts used wicker men (yes, just like the movie!), Ancient Romans burned Christian martyrs alive by dipping a tunic in wax and setting them on fire, arsonists in Germany were placed in a wooden chamber which was then filled with sulfuric smoke and set on fire, and of course, witches during "the Burning Times" were simply burned alive at the stake. A few of the previous methods were discussed within this series also, like boiling alive, necklacing, and number 42 on this list, the Brazen Bull. There seems to be no end to the ways to burn a person.
49) DEATH BY ANIMAL - Fairly self-explanatory, this type of torture and death was used for thousands of years. From throwing a man to the lions, pitching a poor soul into a pit of venomous snakes, goring someone with a bull, and my personal favorite: death by elephant. That one involved having an elephant crush your head like a melon with his foot. Sometimes they crushed each limb first, then the abdomen, to make it take longer and hurt more.
50) HERETIC'S FORK - This was an iron device with two forks, one on each end, and secured by a collar or leather strap. It would be placed to fit between the victim's upper chest and chin, and did not allow any movement whatsoever, lest the victim's soft flesh be punctured by the sharp points. The victim's hands were tied behind their back to restrict movement. It was often used for sleep deprivation because if the victim moved, they would immediately be jarred back to the reality that was their torture.
51) ABACINATION (EYE TORTURE) - This is the purposeful blinding of another person as a form of torture. Simply put: a red hot metal plate is placed over the eyes to burn them shut. Blinding has been used since before the Dark Ages as a form of torture. It was also common to put lime in paper cups and fasten them to the eyes so that the corrosive agent eats the eyeballs. Some tortures included pouring molten silver directly into a victim's eyes. And there was always the gouging out of eyeballs. Director Lucio Fulci made a habit of including eye torture in many of his films.
52) LEAD SPRINKLER - What at first looks like a device used to sprinkle holy water actually has a much more sinister purpose. The sprinkler would be filled with hot liquid like tar or oil - or molten metal and it would come out the end with the holes and onto the victim.
53) CEMENT SHOES - The American Mafia started this tradition of execution. The victim (usually someone who has been a rat or has harmed the family in some way) has both feet placed into the openings of a cinder block, or even in a bucket - and then cement is poured all around. It is left to harden and then the victim is simply dumped in the river or some other body of water and quickly drowns. It is where the mob phrase "sleeps with the fishes" came from. Not pleasant.
54) SPANISH TICKLER (or CAT'S PAW) - Very similar to the Breast Ripper, this device was either a three or four pronged device that resembled a claw. It was either on a handle or attached to a long stick so that it could be raked across bare flesh causing critical injuries, as you can imagine. It was oft times fatal due not to the wounds themselves, but because of the severe infections that would result from the skin being laid open.
55) ASIAN BAMBOO TORTURE- Seriously. This is just wrong. Whether or not it was actually used or just an urban legend can't be proven, but what happens is this: a victim is suspended horizontally over a patch of bamboo stalks that have been sharpened to a point. Bamboo grows extremely fast, and would soon pierce through the victim's skin and grow through the body and out the other side and continue upward.
*Well, hope you enjoyed this tour of torture methods. There were so many different types out there that I had to only pick fifty-five out of the bunch...It's sad that the world has devised so many ways to cripple and kill someone over the centuries.....