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Medieval Devices of Torture II

During medieval times, the torture devices they had were imaginative with many zeroing in on inflicting pain on certain parts of the body. In this article, you will primarily encounter methods of torture that focused on body parts, such as the head, knees, the breasts and the genitals.

Knee Splitter

Spiked wooden blocks were placed on either side of a victim’s knee and screwed together until the knees literally split. The design of the device was made in such a way that pain could also be inflicted on other joints, such as the wrists and elbows.

Head Crusher

The head crushed looks much like the vice grip of today ”“ just turned on its side. This torture device saw the chin of a victim placed on a bar while they were outfitted with a metal cap that was attached to a bolt that was screwed onto the top of their head. As the bolt was slowly turned, the victim’s head would feel the crushing pressure. Usually, this method was used to get a confession out of victims, and if they did not speak, then they died from the increasing pressure. Eyeballs would begin to pop out of the sockets, followed by the shattering of teeth. Finally, the skull became fractured and started to release the brain.

Breast Ripper

With two rather large claws at the end of each handle, the breast ripper resembled a pair of forceps, but these were not used to do good. Instead, the ripper was meant to brand the breasts of unmarried mothers. It was heated until it turned red-hot and then pressed against the skin. If a woman had been condemned for something much worse, the tipper was then used to completely tear off their breasts.

The Spider

The spider was a variation of the breast ripper, which consisted of a series of spikes inserted into a wall. A woman was dragged along the spikes until her breast were torn off.

Lead Sprinkler

When you think of sprinklers, the last thing to come to mind is probably one that emitted molten lead or boiling oil onto people instead of water. While a victim was strapped to a table, they endured the hot substances being tossed on them. The device was a simple ladle with a lid over a bowl with a hole. Liquid was poured into the bowl and the lid closed over it.

Crocodile Shears

If a man was accused of trying to kill the king, they would have to face the crocodile shears ”“ a punishment reserved just for this kind of criminal. Shaped like pincers, the shears formed a pipe lined with jagged teeth when it was closed instead of the usual jaws or blades. The shears were heated until they became red-hot and were then clamped over the victim’s penis, which was then ripped from the body.