Top 10 Gruesome Torture Devices of Medieval Times

Torture is considered as one of the most abominable acts of men since time immemorial. It is an ancient hideous practice that remains up to the present times. Torture is done for interrogation, deterrence and punishment. In this article, we will be looking at the list of Top 10 gruesome torture devices of medieval times. While several of these torture devices can cause untold pain and instant death, we must remember that we have in our midst modern torture devices which can bring untold pain but for a longer time period.

1. Crocodile Shears

Crocodile Shears

The crocodile shears was widely used as torture device during the latter part of medieval era and were commonly used on regicides. These are the criminals who have made attempts of assassinating the king. A super heated crocodile shear is applied on the erect penis of the victim and with sufficient tension will result to the tearing off of that part of the human anatomy. Those who are lucky enough to save their manhood, however, end up with severe arterial bleeding.

2. Breast Ripper

Breast Ripper

This gruesome torture device was primarily used for interrogation and punishment of prisoners. This is widely used then to mark the breast of single mothers. Those women suspected of heresy, adultery, blasphemy, abortion and other acts considered inimical by the inquisitors suffer the painful experience of their breast being torn off by the red hot breast ripper.


3. Lead Sprinkler

Lead Sprinkler

The lead sprinkler is basically a ladle with a handle. The upper half of the ladle sphere can be detached and filled up with molten metal or boiling tar, pitch or water. The contents are then poured on the pinioned and hapless victim.


4. Choke Pear

Choke Pear

This torture device was used in rectal and oral formats, and in extreme cases, in the vaginal area. They are forced into these orifices of victims and are forcibly expanded to the maximum aperture segments.


5. Spanish Donkey


This torture device consists of a main board that is cut into wedge at the top and is fastened to a pair of cross beams. The naked victim is place astride atop of the main board as if riding a donkey while weights are placed on the victim’s feet.

6. Judas Chair

Judas Chair

This method of torture has remained the same up to the present times. The naked victim is straddled up and lowered towards the pointed region of the pyramid structure in a position that exactly hits the anus or the vagina.


7. Scavenger’s Daughter

Scavengers Daughter

This torture device became popular during the reign of King Henry VIII. It is an A-frame metal rack structure to which the head of the victim is strapped at the pointed part of the device while the hands are pinioned at midpoint and the lower limbs at the separate ends. Blood is forced out of the various orifices of the victim’s body while the head is swung down and knees are forced up into a sitting position.


8. Knee Splitter

Knee Splitter

This is a very popular torture device during the period of Inquisition. As the name suggests, these device causes the knees of the victims to split. It is made out of a pair spikes and wooden blocks which are pressed together by a screw until it breaks the knee of the victim.


9. Cat’s Paw

Cats Paw

This device is usually connected to a handle and looks like a torturer’s hand in size and configuration. It is used to tear and rip away the flesh from the bone in any part of the body of the victim.

10. Head Crusher

Head Crusher

The head of the victim is placed beneath an upper cap while the chin is place just above the bar located at the bottom. The screw of this torture device is slowly turned and the increasing pressure will compress the skull. It initially shatters the teeth, then slowly breaks and splinters the jaw.

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