12 Horrifying Medieval Torture Devices We Can’t Believe Exist

NOTE: If you are viewing this post from a mobile device, please scroll down for image captions. 

Throughout time, torture devices have existed to punish criminals, perform executions, retrieve confessions or penalize people for pretty much anything they deemed unacceptable.

Depending on the victim’s gender, social status and offense, a particular device or method would be used, including ones that weren’t necessarily meant to kill people right away — leaving them in agonizing pain for hours or even weeks.

These 12 are the most barbaric and brutal devices we came across during our search.

We honestly can’t believe such things exist and that people were persecuted using these torture tools.

Torture Device Image Captions:

The Scavenger’s Daughter
This device was used to compress the body to such a degree that blood was forced from the ears and nose.

Scold’s Bridle
A punishment device usually used on women to control and humiliate them from gossiping.

Brazen Bull
After the victim was placed inside the hollow chamber of the bull, a fire was lit beneath to literally cook them to death.

Pear of Anguish
This was inserted into one of the victim’s orifices to cause mutilation.

Spanish Tickler
A ghastly torture used to tear a victim’s flesh apart.

Knee Splitter
You can imagine what this one did.

Arms would be ripped from their sockets by the weight of the body. Soon after, breathing would be impaired.

The Judas Cradle
The point of the device was inserted into the anus or vagina of a victim and then the person was slowly lowered onto it by a system of ropes.

Torture Chair
Once used to interrogate heretics and wizards

Breast Ripper
As the name implies…

The Iron Maiden
A slow, painful death.

Long saws held by two people at each side would start at the groin and saw a person in half.

Images: Open Culture, Photobucket, www.outthereliving.com, www.ebaumsworld.com