Most Painful 20 Torture Devices in the History…

Do you know what would have been the worst aspect of life during the European middle ages? Heinous personal hygiene? No. Disease and famine? Hardly. That really crappy mandolin music that midgets enjoy dancing to? Close, but wrong again. The worst thing about medieval life was the unwavering evil of the Christian “justice” system and the tools of torture they employed.The following are the 20 worst torture devices of all time in the European History…
(20.) Punishing Shoes

The shoes were often used in conjunction with the standing pillory (a device that holds your head and wrists in place while you stand). How long do you think you could stand on your tippy-toes before you had to rest your heels on those iron spikes?

(19.) Heretic’s Fork

The four sharp points snugly nestled under the chin and sternum were designed to allow the victim just enough range of motion with his mouth to murmer a confession.
(18.) Dunking Stool

Used primarily on women (as was the case for most devices of pseudo-sexual torture), the dunking stool would dip its occupant into a river for as long as the authorities saw fit.

(17.) The Boots
The victim’s legs were placed between two planks of wood and bound together with cords. Between the cords the torturers placed wedges with which they would violently hammer. Each time a wedge was hammered, an acute portion of the shin bone was shattered. The tormentors could hammer at least a dozen wedges up and down the legs. When the Boots were removed, the bone fragments fell to pieces and the skin of the lower legs merely served as loose sacks for them.
(16.) Water Torture

This is the only non-medieval, European torture on our list. The water torture was a favorite among Japanese POW guards during WWII. The victim was first bound with barbed wire and his mouth stuffed with rags. Next, the guards would snake a tube down the victim’s nasal passage and bloat his belly with water. Once that was finished, the guards would kick and beat the poor sap’s midsection until his stomach lining burst and and death ensued.

(15.) Cat’s Paw

This was simply used to slowly tear the flesh from its victim, often times all the way down to the bone.

(14.) The Rack
It does exactly what it looks like it does: the rack pulls your body from end to end until your limbs are slowly plucked from their joints.
(13.) Quartering by Horses
Quartering is the rack taken to the next level and was reserved only for murderers and those who killed or attempted to take the life of a nobleman or royalty. Each of the prisoner’s limbs were tied to a horse and the horses were whipped simultaneously so that each limb would erupt from the body in an instant. A crowd favorite.
(12.) The Pear
Hinging on your gender, the pear was either placed in your anus or your vagina in its thin form and then cranked to open up and blossom into a rather uncomfortable position
(11.) Cleansing the Soul

In many Catholic countries, the clergy believed that the corrupted soul of a damned person could be cleansed if they were forced to consume boiling water, burning coals, or both. Of course, this was what happened to prisoners before they were punished for their crime — sort of a “warm-up” torture, if you will.

(10.) The Hanging Cage

The pictured victim is one of the lucky ones because most occupants were caged completely naked to expose them to either extreme cold or hot weather conditions. And… most caged prisoners were usually placed in there only after other means of extreme physical torture were administered. But wait — there’s more! The victims were left in the cage until they died from either the elements or thirst, which could take weeks.

(9.) The Head Crusher

If ever an explanation was in a name, the head crusher is it. Death by head crusher usually went something like this: the teeth imploded into their sockets and smashed the surrounding jaw bones. Then the eyes squirted from their sockets and finally, brain matter squirted from the ears. Unbelievably, many nations still use a version of the head crusher to this very day as an interrogation tool.

(8.) Burning at the Stake

A favorite execution for those accused of witchcaft. Clergy believed that the burning of a witch permanently removed her evil spirits from the physical world, thus eliminating the possibility of any further contamination of innocent souls. Makes sense.

(7.) Judas Cradle

The victim was hoisted above the pyramid and slowly lowered, crotch first, onto its sharpened pinnacle. Hinging on the torturers mood, he could vary the amount of the victim’s body weight applied to the point.

(6.) The Cradle

The Cradle is the nastier second cousin to the Judas Cradle. We believe the picture does all the explaining for us.

(5.) Iron Maiden

The following is a depiction of the first recorded use of the Iron Maiden on August 14, 1515 : “A forger of coins was placed inside, and the doors shut slowly, so that the very sharp points penetrated his arms and legs in several places, and his belly and chest, and his bladder and the root of his member, and his eyes, and his shoulders, and his buttocks, but not enough to kill him; and so, he remained making great cry and lament for two days, after which he died.”

(4.) Interrogation Chair

Not only were the hundreds of tiny spikes uncomfortable to sit on, but a fire was usually kindled under the iron chair to make it reach a horrible scalding point.

(3.) Impalement

This was the standard form of punishment for traitors in Algiers, Tunis, Tripoli and Salee during the Middle Ages. Believe it or not, once the lengthy spike entered the victim’s posterior and exited their mouth or throat, the victim might live for more than a day in this state and was left to crawl in the dirt for all to watch.

(2.) The Saw

The saw may represent human ingenuity’s darkest hour. The idea here is that when the victim is suspended upside down, most of the blood will go to the head. That is an important part of the process, you see, because as the torturers saw into the victim’s crotch, all of the blood in the head will oxygenate the brain so that the victim will not pass out as one normally would under such excruciating pain. Typically, the saw would reach the victim’s navel before unconsciousness would take hold — sometimes as far as the midriff.

(1.) Breaking with the Wheel

Okay, we’ve saved the most treacherous display for last. So, if you’ve had trouble with any of the above and want to turn back now, no one will think less of you for it……………. You still here? You sick bastard. Okay, here we go… In terms of frequency used, the wheel was second only to hanging as the most common form of execution in Germany during the Middle Ages. First, the victim (usually naked) had each of his limbs spread apart and tied to the ground. However, wooden crosspieces were placed under each major joint such as the wrists, ankles, knees, hips and shoulders. The torturer would then smash each limb and joint with the heavy, iron-enhanced wheel. But that was just the beginning of the nightmare. Once the limbs were reduced to gelatinous appendages of mashed bones, blood and flesh, each arm and leg was braided into the spokes of the wheel and then hoisted upright for display. The agonizing victim would remain in this position for days as crows and insects feasted on him or her until death.



  1. Gryskó said,

    May 12, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    oh! it was difficult to see those images

  2. Raine said,

    July 4, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    I TOTALLY AGREE!!!!!!! xD

  3. suzie Q said,

    July 14, 2008 at 3:14 am

    Yeah us humans are sick mother fuckers

  4. Lyanne said,

    July 20, 2008 at 4:53 am

    wow it left me cringing at evey image and thought of that kind of tourture…..*cringes* it makes you happy if you just went to jail….. instead of being murderd slowly 4 all 2 watch

  5. TOXIC said,

    July 29, 2008 at 2:00 am

    I rather enjoyed it if you have any idea were i can read more about subjects like this please e mail me

  6. pg said,

    August 3, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    i’m sure some of this stuff is still in use in some parts of the world, albeit quietly..

  7. Technophob said,

    August 6, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    Ah the good old time….

  8. Kate said,

    August 26, 2008 at 11:58 am

    hmm well that sure did open up my eyes, i never new that the middle ages were so creative in tourture, if they spent less time on killing people and more on medicene and saving people things might have been different..

  9. alex said,

    September 22, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    i’m hungry after seeing this for some reason lol


  10. cody said,

    October 28, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    omg that stuff was awsome im going to do my jr. and senour prouject on them

  11. Mikhail said,

    November 7, 2008 at 6:22 am

    u need better images my friend.the ones u hav did nothing to make me cringe.i am very used to the grotesque and ur images were rather dull.

  12. sambus50 said,

    February 16, 2009 at 3:03 am

    SHIT the saw hurts

  13. Noemi XP XD said,

    February 19, 2009 at 8:23 am

    I’m so glad I’m not in the midievel times or born in those times…..i agree with everyone except alex and Technophob……. I thought you guys were funny though…..god why did this have to be part of my history homework?!

    *sickened* seriously I’m sickened

  14. John Darque said,

    March 2, 2009 at 2:11 am

    man humans are real sick fucks

  15. Dee said,

    March 4, 2009 at 4:45 am

    Oh my, that is rather sick. I just thought they hung burned and chopped off peoples heads. That stuff is… Whoa! Every one made me cringe. Except the pear. Cuz women go through child birth. So unless that thing opens to bigger than a baby’s head…! Feel sorry for the guys either way though.

    • Jayson said,

      November 6, 2010 at 2:01 pm

      Yes but from what I remember reading else were the pear almost always had spikes or sharp edges etc.

  16. peanut said,

    April 13, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    those pics were yummy

  17. caleb said,

    April 18, 2009 at 3:20 am

    dude i have one that could top all that. paper cut his eye-balls!!! haha lol

  18. Devon said,

    April 22, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    good times, good times, that’s what we need today. How much would crime decline if we implemented these tortures into our justice system nowadays.
    Just think about it.

  19. joeoeoe said,

    May 12, 2009 at 1:26 am

    flood wuz here

  20. adam said,

    May 14, 2009 at 8:52 am

    that was sick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i cant believe how torturous that was!!!!!! it was still cool, interesting, and cruel. sure glad i live in this time.

  21. TM said,

    May 24, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    I’m imagining a girl I don’t like in these torture devices to make reading more vivid. x] LOL

  22. Dustin said,

    May 28, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    that wasn’t that horrible to read as my friends suggested….but God help anyone who has to go through any of those.

  23. imani said,

    May 29, 2009 at 12:42 am

    WOW torture sucks and and humans are sick as well

  24. sawthe13th said,

    November 4, 2010 at 2:36 am

    if you like those check saw out. Cube the pendulum, the reverse bear trap, the bathroom, the fatal five, and the angel just to name some more painful ways to die than any of these.

  25. yinka said,

    November 6, 2010 at 1:18 am

    And we call ourselves human beings…. Kai. The worst is just the saw…….

  26. dominic robertson said,

    November 12, 2010 at 2:55 am

    that gave me an erection

  27. dominic robertson said,

    November 12, 2010 at 2:55 am

    i love penis

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