Gory Medieval Tortures

Now in the good old days my parents would tell me discipline was not a bad thing. It kept a civilised structure to society. So I am for that, but let’s take it back a few years and really get some discipline and a deterrent for any would be criminals in society with easy to implement cost effective gory medieval tortures. Warning you may want to look away at this point:

Here are my top five:

No: 5

The Pear of Anquish

A clever contraption that consisted of four metal leaves that would expand outwards as the key was turned.  It would be inserted into a different orifice of the body to suit the crime. If you were a witch it would be inserted into the vagina, a homosexual into the anus or blasphemous or liar into the mouth. My guess is they did not wash the implement between uses so if you were in for lying let’s hope you don’t follow a homosexual. This was a torture that rarely killed so was general used as a little warm up for the main event.

Torture -The Pear of Anguish

No: 4

The Judas Cradle:

The victims feet were tied to together and hoisted up on ropes would then be lowered on to the top of a pyramid like seat. The tip of the seat was inserted into the person’s anus or vagina. Weights were at times attached to the person to increase the pull downwards and of course the pain.  The victim was usually naked just to add a little more humiliation.

Torture - Judas Cradle


No: 3

The Rack

No top five would be complete without the good old Rack. Hand and legs strapped in and as the torturer turn the handle the limbs would be stretched until a loud crunch and cracking noise was heard indicating the legs or arms had been dislocated. If continued limbs, normally the arm could be torn from the body. Not happy with this the creative engineers of the time added spikes that would puncture into your back as your arms and legs were stretched. (be wary of tall people in those days!)

Torture - Rack

No 2

Rat Torture

This is one of my favourites, and correct me if I am wrong but I believe this image is from the York Dungeons that I remember from a visit there about fifteen years ago and the image remains with me. Here the victim is tied down a then a cage is strapped to the chest, stomach or genitals and rats placed inside. It was then heated up and rats have a natural instinct to get away from the heat and the only way out was through the victim’s body. And rats can chew through anything I have been told.

Torture - Rat


Finally, drum roll please for the No 1 torture.

Saw Torture

I have gone for this as it in ingenious and cost effective. All you need is the ole common garden saw and a length of rope to string your victim up. The victim was hung upside down so blood would rush to the head. This would reduce the bleeding and kept the victim alive and conscious longer to witness themselves being sawn in half.

Torture - Saw


If you haven’t had enough by now

you can always read more here:

3 thoughts on “Gory Medieval Tortures

  1. Yikes, they were all somewhat unpleasant! I suppose that was the point. I studied medieval torture during a criminology module at university a number of years ago – some of the ideas that were used were baffling. Some of these were new to me, so … thanks?

    Best wishes 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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