Top 10 History’s Worst Torture Methods

It is often seen that the good deeds of the human beings are mostly talked about, very rarely do we see people talk about the harshness and the brutal nature of any person unless the person is very infamous for his wrong deeds. But there are some of the inhumane practices which surely need a special mention in everybody’s mind. These inhumane practices are nothing but the brutal torturing methods that have been used by people all across the globe to trouble the people or the culprits and convicts. But then how good were they in doing so? Were these acts justified or were these just way too over the top kind of actions to be done on any other human being? The answer and response might vary from person to person. But for now, here is a look at the top 10 history’s worst torture methods. Read on to know more.

10) Thumbscrews


Well, this might sound like a very ordinary torturing practice. The thumbscrew device is nothing but a metal work which has a platform for your thumbs to be kept and a lever which brings down the big hammer right on your placed thumbs to chop it off or to make the blood flow out of it. Does it seem deadly now? The thumbscrews can be very painful as merely chopping and chipping of a finger can give some serious pain to you and your body. This practice is not a new one and was started by the Afghans in the ancient period. Even India’s greatest emperor warrior Prithviraj Chauhan was subjected to this torture after the battle of Tarain against Muhammad Ghori in 1192 A.D.

9) Chastity Belts


There have been ridicules flying around for the chastity belts since ages. The movies and the books both ridicule the ideas of the chastity belts. But these were actually used in the ancient period. Usually the chastity belts or metal innerwear for the girls with sharp edges were made in order to safeguard their virginity till their marriage. But later, the use of these chastity belts diversified in a way that they were been put on the wives body whose husbands had to go out for warfare. The belts were a pain to wear but the ladies had no choice. This was done in order to ensure that none other could even trespass the privates of the wives of the men who had duties during the war. The men who tried to trespass had a very bad time as they ended up with cuts and scratches on their privates; all due to the sharp edges of chastity belts.

8) Forced Ingestion

forced ingestion

Forced ingestion was a torture method used in the Europe by the elite class of people to punish the convicts. It is a known fact that just like the deficiency of something can be dangerous, in the same way even excess of something can be fatal. This was the principle of forced ingestion wherein the convict was made to drink water forcefully. Huge amounts of water were forcefully put in and the convict had no other choice but to drink it. Eventually, this excess amount of water used to cramp up the body of the convict and soon enough used to weaken up and swell up the tissues of the brain. This would lead to some serious pain in the body and subsequently the death. This truly deserves a place in the top 10 tortures, doesn’t it?

7) Chinese Torture


Talk about the water, then how one can forget the Chinese torture or the Chinese water torture as it is popularly known as. Chinese water torture is all about making the victim lay down tied to a chair, and then putting a drop of water on his head continuously. This drop by drop flow of water on head doesn’t sound like much pain but in reality this is the worst possible torture. This is simple because of the fact that the non-stop flow if water on the forehead, drop by drop, will simply not let the victim sleep or do any other task. Due to sleep deprivation, the victim is bound to die at some stage or the other.

6) The Pear


The pear was a metal screw which was surrounded by a metal jaw. You might end up imagining like the flower petals encircling the pollen part in the middle. This is how it looks but certainly is a thousand times stronger and heavier. The pear was used to give serious injuries to the victims, both internal and external. It was inserted in the jaws of the men who were found guilty of doing something wrong, vagina of the women who were caught in the act of prostitution and the anus of the homosexual people. The screw in the pear would literally screw the convict all over and give serious internal injuries and even death in some of the cases.

5) Guillotine


Who can forget the infamous guillotine that cut the heads of over a thousand people in the pre-independence and during the French revolution in the French Capital? Be it the king giving such guillotine punishments or be it his own men being punished using the guillotine by the civilians, this head crushing and head chopping machine holds the record for killing the most number of people in the world. This is how severe the death used to be if you were to be guillotined in France during the French revolution.

4) Chair of Torture


This is probably the most easiest and lenient sounding torture methods but could give some serious discomfort to the person being punished. Torture chair was nothing but a chair in an isolated room wherein the convict was simply tied and made to sit. The lack or movements or the restricted movements gave the people such discomfort that they eventually ended up in awkward positions. These positions could never give them death. But what could be worse when you wish to die but the chair you are tied to be simple not letting you die but giving you sheer discomfort.

3) The Rat Digger


This was another pathetic torture method that was used by people in ancient history. The victim was made to lie down and tied to the bed. At the same time there was box place over his stomach. The enclosed box was often filled in with the vermin like rats. The rats had no other choice but to dig their way out through the stomach of the victim and dig out the intestine and everything else in order to save its life. Its life was certainly saved, but the victim’s death was assured for sure. Such could be the extent of torture, ever imagined about it?

2) The tub


This was another type of torture which could spoil the dimensions of face of the convict. The convict or the victim was made to sit in a tub which had a lid to cover up. There was just an opening for the head so that the entire body of the victim would lie inside the tub with the head sticking out. The head was dipped in honey to attract the insects and bees. These bees would then attack the head of the victim and the rest can be imagined. No descriptions needed one would assume.

1) Amputations


This sounds pretty direct. The victim was made to sit in an isolated room. With each passing day, some part of his body was being cut. It started with the pricking of hair, then the nails and then moving on to the mainstream body parts, every part of the body was cut off from the fingers to the hands, from the genitals to the legs. The death of the victim was certain. The only question was how long they could survive this brutal form of torture.

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akshay gupta

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  • The first detailed actual mention of what could be interpreted as “chastity belts” in the West is in Konrad Kyeser von Eichstätt’s Bellifortis (1405), which describes the military technology of the era. The book includes a drawing that is accompanied by the Latin text: “Est florentinarum hoc bracile dominarum ferreum et durum ab antea sic reseratum.” (“These are hard iron breeches of Florentine women which are closed at the front.”) The belt in this drawing is described by Dingwall as “both clumsy and heavy”, having “little in common with the later models which served the same use”. The Bellifortis account is not supported by any additional concrete evidence or corroborating documents. Polidoro argues that Kyeser’s references are meant to be humorous or ironic, and that Dingwall’s accounts of the use of chastity belts by a few rich men in the 16th and 17th centuries to ensure the faithfulness of their often much younger wives should be treated critically, due to the absence of actual artefacts of this nature from the historical period in question, and his lack of access to more detailed contemporary historical records.