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Historical Methods of Torture and Execution

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Historical Methods of Torture and Execution
Europe is the place to visit if this is what you're into. Many cities and towns have medieval torture museums. We liked one that we visited at Mont St. Michel in France. For those of you who can't afford to travel, check out the movie version of Edgar Allen Poe's The Pit and the Pendulum starring Lance Henrickson. Don't know how historically accurate it is, but it's great atmospherically.
Beheading by Axe or Sword
An executioner, usually hooded, chops off the person's head. Quite trendy in England in the 1500-1600's. The axe used for the last beheading in 1747 can be viewed at the Tower of London.
Beating to Death
An example of this is when American slaves were beaten to death by their masters until they died.
Boiling Alive
Another form of cooking people, popular in the Middle Ages
Buried Alive
Widely used around the world throughout the ages. For example, in India they buried women in sand up to their necks, then left them, head emerged only, to bake in the sun.
Burned at the Stake
Popular during the Inquisition for heretics, witches, and uppity women.
Eaten by Animals
The early Christians were thrown to the lions. Also, we don't know whether it's based in reality or not, but check out the scene in the movie The Vikings where they throw Ragnar into the wolf pit.
The skin is removed in strips.
Drawn and Quartered
The person is carved into pieces while alive. It was often combined with hanging and used for extremely serious crimes such as high treason, where mere hanging alone was not enough.
Stakes are driven through the person's body in such a way that vital organs needed for...

... middle of paper ...

...s in the limbs are pre-cut.
Water Death
Person is forced to drink water until death.
Water Torture
Used in U.S. prisons in the nineteenth century. Water was poured on top of the prisoner's head and a large bucket of water was also placed under their chin to simulate the feeling of drowning. To see pictures, including an actual photograph, click here.
The Gag
This device was placed in prisoners' mouths and kept in place by locking the chain around their necks. Used in U.S. prisons in the nineteenth century.
The Cage
Giant oddly-shaped metal cages were placed on prisoners' heads and worn throughout the waking hours. Used in nineteenth century American prisons. To see a picture, click here.
The Cat
Prisoners were whipped with leather straps and cat-o'-nine tails until their flesh was raw and bleeding. Used in nineteenth century American prisons.

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