The Five Most Disgusting, Cruel and Sadistic Medieval Torture Methods

These are not for the faint of heart.

The human brain can get quite dark and scary… not that I have to tell you readers. Our minds have the ability of dreaming up some truly grotesque and cruel things, especially when we are in a state of fury. As humans ourselves, we know how to best punish and torture other humans. Don’t say you’ve never thought about it. In today’s society, we are bound by laws, rules and regulations. But what if there were no limitations to the punishment that could be imposed on someone?

Back in Medieval times, laws and local customs did not impose limits on the treatment of prisoners or the extent to which torture could be inflicted. From the 12th to 15th centuries in particular, increasingly sadistic methods of torture arose. These torture methods were used to either extract confessions from victims or to punish them. Not only did they physically torture the victim, but they were used as psychological torture as well. 

We all know about hanging, burning, whatever. Yawn. We have gathered the top five most disgusting, cruel and sadistic Medival torture methods in the gallery below. Strap yourself in, because it’s about to get really fucking painful. 

#5. Flaying

Titian’s Flaying of Marsyas.

Flaying is a method of torture (and also execution) where the skin of the victim is gradually and slowly removed from their body. The victim would be stripped and tied up at their hands and feet to stop movement. The skin would then be slashed and peeled away from the muscles. The face was often flayed first to cause maximum suffering, as the victim was still conscious. Even if the victim survived the initial shock or avoided critical blood loss during the torture, they would soon die due to infection.

#4. The Judas Cradle

Using ropes, the prisoner would be lowered onto a pyramid-shaped seat with the point inserted into either the anus or the vagina. Their hands and legs would be tied up so that their weight could not be shifted anywhere else. Their genitals would then be stretched for hours, days, or weeks. Various weights would also be tied to the legs to increase the torture.

#3. The Breast Ripper

This method was used mainly on women who were accused of adultery, blasphemy, abortion or witchcraft. (This totally would have been used on me. Yikes). It was also used for interrogations. The device, which was heated before torture, contained four ‘claws’ that were used to slowly and painfully rip off the breasts.

#2. Rat Torture

The victim would be bound to a table on their back while a rat was placed on their chest. An iron or metal container would then be placed over the rat, trapping it. A fire would then start on top of the container, causing the rat to panic and need to escape the heat. Because it wouldn’t be able to scratch its way out of metal or iron, it would burrow its way downwards into the victim’s chest and through their organs. This took hours. *Vomits.*

#1. Scaphism

Scaphism is placed at number one for reasons you will understand in just a second. Used as a method of execution to devise as much pain, discomfort and torture as possible for as long as the victim was alive. The victim would be trapped inside a swamp between two small boats in a way that left their head, hands and feet outside. The victim would then be force-fed a mixture of milk and honey, making it drip everywhere, covering their face, eyes and neck. The same mixture was then spread all over the exposed body parts. The milk and honey diet also caused extreme diarrhea. This caused the victims to defecate inside the boats which would then breed maggots while the honey attracted every other type of insect, causing the victim to be eaten alive by insects during excruciating diarrhea and dehydration. Holy. Shit.

Yeah… that was, a lot. To cleanse your mind, eyes and soul from that disgustingness, enjoy this video of animals being adorable.