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Wednesday, August 29, 2012



The Saw

The Saw Torture Device Drawing
Before the saw was given its perfunctory role to slice through wood and thick material, it was used to slice through humans for torture or execution. The victim would be held upside down, allowing the blood to rush to their head, and then the torturer would slowly start slicing them between their legs. With the blood contained in the head, the victim would remain conscious throughout most of the slicing, often only passing out or dying when the saw hit their mid-section.

The Saw Middle Ages

Breast Ripper or The Spider

Breast Ripper Picture

For those women who were accused or adultery, abortion or any other crime, they were subjected to the painful torture of the breast ripper or the spider. As the name suggests, the claw-like device, which ended in spikes, was heated and then used to rip off or shred a woman’s breasts. The spider was a variant, attached to a wall instead of clamped onto a woman’s breast by a torturer.

Breast Ripper Torture Device

The Rack

The Rack Torture Drawing
Probably the most commonly know torture device from the Middle Ages, the rack was a wooden platform, with rollers at both ends. The victim’s hands and feet were tied to each end and the rollers would be turned, stretching the victim’s body to uncomfortable lengths.

The Rack Photograph

Knee Splitter
Knee Spliter
Used frequently during the Spanish Inquisition, the knee splitter, naturally, was used to split a victims knee. The device was built from two spiked wood blocks with a screw at the back, and was clamped on the front and back of the knee. One turn of the screw and, hey presto, a knee was easily, and painfully, crippled. It was also used on other parts of the body.

The Head Crusher

Head Crusher Photograph
Extremely inventive with names, the head crusher (much like the breast ripper and knee splitter) did exactly what it was called. The chin sat on the bottom rung, the head under the cap, and the turning of the screws would result in a very disgusting death – brains seeping out of the popped eye sockets, crushed teeth and bones, and mutilated remains.

Head Crusher Torture Device

The Wheel

The Wheel Middle Ages Drawing
Most commonly used in Germany during the Middle Ages, the wheel was a favorite form of execution. The victim was tied to the wheel on the ground and wooden crosspieces were placed under each major joint (wrist, ankles, hips, shoulders, knees). After the pleasantries were observed, the torturer would start hammering the crosspieces with a heavy, iron-enhanced wheel. Following the severe bashing, the victim’s limbs were braided into the spokes of the wheels and displayed to the general public until the victim died.

The Wheel Torture Device

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