“God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.” (Ecc. 7:29).The Judas Cradle
The Judas Cradle, a terrible medieval torture where the victim would be placed on top of a pyramid-like seat. The victim's feet were tied to each other in a way that moving one leg would force the other to move as well - increasing pain.
The triangular-shaped end of the judas cradle was inserted in the victim's anus or vagina. This torture could last, depending on some factors discussed below, anywhere from a few hours to complete days.
The time it took someone to die varied enormously from individual to individual. Torturers would sometimes add weight to the victim's legs as to increase pain and hurry the victim's death. Other torturers would place oil on the device which increased pain considerably.
This device was rarely, if at all, washed. If the victim did not die quickly enough, or their painful execution was interrupted, they would invariantly die from an infection.
The victim was sometimes rocked or made fall repeatedly onto the "pyramid". This was done so torturers could acquire vital information from the victim. If he or she refused to talk, the torturer would either add more weight to the victim or make him or her fall repeatedly on the device.
The Judas cradle was called the culla di Giuda in Italian, the Judaswiege in German and The Wake in French.
The victim was usually naked when subject to the Judas Craddle. This was to increase humiliation.
To prolonge the victim's life and cause more pain, torturers would sometimes rise the victim with ropes for the night and continue the torture during the morning.
A common variant of the Judas Cradle was the Impalement Torture - equally painful.Water torture
Dunking is a form of punishment that was mainly reserved for supposed witches. The victim was tied to a chair which was elevated or lowered by the torturer. If he noticed that the victim was going to pass out, he elevated the chair. When he needed information and the victim was unwilling to cooperate, he lowered it. This method was widely used during the Spanish Inquisition and in England and France. The victim was usually intermittently submerged for many hours until he or she revealed information or death occurred.
While witches were commonly tortured using this method, thieves and murderers could be subject to it in order to extract a confession. This was more common when other more sophisticated torture devices were not present.
Drops of Water
A very painful method of torture consisted of fixing a victim's head under a small tube that constantly filtered drops of water. These fell on the same spot of the victim's head leading to, in prolonged periods of time, perforation and eventually death.
The unlucky victim was placed inside an empty cauldron attached to chains. The cauldron was filled with cold water and beneath it, a fire was set. Eventually the water began to boil cooking the victim alive. This was more frequently a way to execute a prisoner rather than to extract a confession.
Freezing with water
In the winter, the naked victim was forced to stand outside in full view of everyone. Slowly, the torturer poured water on his head which eventually became frozen making the victim die slowly and painfully. Sometimes the body was left for the whole winter to terrify the population and dissuade any further crimes, as punishment was imminent.
This torture was mostly used in more recent times, but some historians believe that its origins date to the Middle Ages. The effect is this: the victim is forced to drink much water until his confession or death.Exposure
As its name implies, this method consists of exposing a victim to the elements. The victim could be buried up to his neck letting any animals, insects or other people kill him slowly.
In some towns there were chains, stocks or ropes used to quickly restrain someone. In many cases, the victim was simply left to die of hunger and thirst.
Due to its cost efficiency and cruelty, the exposure torture was very widespread in medieval Europe. The victim's remains often served as a warning to the population.
In many cases, the victim was sentenced to a short period of exposure, depending on the crime. However, death was frequent since they were completely defenseless.The Chair of Torture
Also known as the Judas Chair, the Chair of Torture was a terrible device of the Middle Ages. It was used until the late 1800's in Europe.
There are many variants of the chair. They all have one thing in common: spikes cover the back, arm-rests, seat, leg-rests and foot-rests. The number of spikes in one of these chairs ranges from 500 to 1,500.
To avoid movement, the victim's wrists were tied to the chair or, in one version, two bars pushed the arms against arm-rests for the spikes to penetrate the flesh even further. In some versions, there were holes under the chair's bottom where the torturer placed coal to cause severe burns while the victim still remained conscious.
This instrument's strength lies primarily in the psychological fear caused on the victims. It was a common practice to extract a confession by forcing the victim to watch someone else be tortured with this instrument.
The time of death greatly varied ranging from a few hours to a day or more. No spike penetrated any vital organ and the wound was closed by the spike itself which delayed blood loss greatly.The Pear of Anguish
The Pear of Anguish was used during the Middle Ages as a way to torture women who conducted a miscarriage, liars, blasphemers and homosexuals.
A pear-shaped instrument was inserted into one of the victim's orifices: the vagina for women, the anus for homosexuals and the mouth for liars and blasphemers.
The instrument consisted of four leaves that slowly separated from each other as the torturer turned the screw at the top. It was the torturer's decision to simply tear the skin or expand the "pear" to its maximum and mutilate the victim.
The Pear of Anguish was usually very adorned to differentiate between the anal, vaginal and oral pears. They also varied in size accordingly.
This torture very rarely provoked death, but was often followed by other torture methods.The Rat Torture
A cheap and effective way to torture someone was with the use of rats. There were many variants, but the most common was to force a rat through a victim's body (usually the intestines) as a way to escape. This was done as follows:
The victim was completely restrained and tied to the ground or any horizontal surface. A rat was then placed on his stomach covered by a metallic container. As the container was gradually heated, the rat began to look for a way out - through the victim's body.
Digging a hole usually took a few hours of agonizing pain for the victim. This almost invariantly resulted in death.The Breast Ripper
Used as a way to punish women, the breast ripper was a painful and cruel way to mutilate a woman's breasts.
This instrument was mostly reserved for women accused of conducting a miscarriage or those accused of adultery.
The claws were used either hot or cold on the victim's exposed breasts. If the victim wasn't killed she would be scarred for life as her breasts were literally torn apart.
A common variant of the breast ripper is often referred to as "The Spider" which is a similar instrument attached to a wall. The victim's breasts were fixed to the claws and the woman was pulled by the turturer away from the wall; successfully removing them.The Head Crusher
The head crusher was widely used during most of the Middle Ages, especially the Inquisition. With the chin placed over the bottom bar and the head under the upper cap, the torturer slowly turned the screw pressing the bar against the cap.
This resulted in the head being slowly compressed. First the teeth are shattered into the jaw; then the victim slowly died with agonizing pain, but not before his eyes were squeezed from his sockets.
This instrument was a formidable way to extract confessions from victims as the period of pain could be prolonged for many hours if the torturer chose to. This could be done by repeatedly turning the screw both ways.
If the torture was stopped midway, the victim often had irreparable damage done to the brain, jaw or eyes.
Many variants of this instrument existed, some that had small containers in front of the eyes to receive them as they fell out of their sockets.Saw Torture
The Saw was widely used throughout the Middle Ages, mainly because the tools required were found in most houses and no complex devices were required. It was a cheap way to torture and kill a victim who was often accused of: witchery, adultery, murder, blasphemy or even theft.
The victim was tied to an inverted position. This had several "benefits": first, it assured sufficient blood diverted to the brain, second, it slowed down the loss of blood and third, it humiliated the victim.
Depending on the victim and torturer, this torture could last several hours. When a confession was required, the victim was frequently forced to watch someone else be subject to this method. If he didn't confess, he'd be slowly cut in half.
During the Inquisition, this method became even more popular as the inquisitors traveled from village to village often without any torture devices at their disposal.
While some victims were cut completely in half as a symbolical gesture, most had only up to their abdomen cut, this was done to prolongue the time of death.The Virgin of Nuremberg (The Maiden)
The Iron Maiden, otherwise known as the Virgin of Nuremberg, was a device used from the XVI century to torture criminals.
It stands 7 feet tall and is able to accommodate a man. The victim was tied inside the Maiden and one of the two doors was shut, penetrating the victim's flesh with the strategically-placed spikes that didn't penetrate any vital organs. When completely closed, the screams from the victim could not be heard outside, nor could the victim see any light or hear anything. This increased the psychological pain. Additionally, the spikes blocked the wounds so it took many hours - or even days - for death to occur.
If the door was opened, the victim would stand in the exact same position so if the torturer chose to close the door again, the spikes would penetrate the exact same wounds. Sometimes the door was intermittently closed to maximise the victim's pain without delivering death. The Inquisitional Chairs
This instrument of torture comes in different versions. We are first going to examine their common features and, then, their differences. All of them have common features, in that they are covered with spikes on the back, on the arm-rests, on the seat, on the leg-rests and on the foot-rests. The chair exhibited at the museum of San Gimignano has 1300 spikes, a real "carpet" of spikes . One version has a bar screwed on the lower portion of the chair, by the victim's feet, which by a screw mechanism forced the back of the legs against the spikes, thus penetrating the flesh of the victim. Another version had two bars immobilising the victim's wrists forcing his forearms against the arm-rests resulting in the flesh being penetrated by the spikes.
Another version had a bar at chest height, to immobilize the victim's bust, while the spiked seat had holes to allow the victim's bottom to be 'heated" by hot coals placed under the seat, causing painful burns, but still keeping the victim conscious.
The strength of this instrument lies mainly in the psychological terror it causes and the threat that the torture will get increasingly worse, conforming to a model where the pain starts off easy and then gets progressively worse. The idea is that the Inquisitors can interrupt it at any stage, upon visual inspection of the damages that have been inflicted.
This instrument was used in Germany up to the 1800s, in Italy and in Spain up to the end of the 1700s, in France, in Great Britain and in the other central European countries, according to certain sources, up until the end of 1800s.The maiden of Nuremberg
The name of this instrument seems to have originated from a prototype that was built in the town of Nuremberg. It is also said that this sort of sarcophagus had the face of a maiden carved on its front door, probably with the aim of making this horrible container look more refined.
This instrument has four main features, whose wickedness, I think, deserve to be analyzed. The inside of the sarcophagus was fitted with spikes designed to pierce different parts of the body, but miss the vital organs, so that the victim was kept alive, in an upright position.
Its second feature is that the victims were kept in an extremely confined space to increase their suffering.
Its third feature was that the device could be opened and closed without letting the victim, who had been pierced from the front and the back, get away.
Its fourth feature was that the container was so thick that no shrieks and moaning could be heard from outside unless the doors were opened. When the sarcophagus doors were shut again, the spikes pierced exactly the same parts of the body as before, and thus no relief was ever possible. This instrument can be defined both a torture and a death instrument.The Garrotte
This instrument bears a Spanish name because it was "improved" in Spain, where it became the official instrument of capital punishment. It remained in use until 1975, when the last person to be executed was a young student who was later found to be innocent. This incident was one of the arguments used for the abolition of death penalty in that country.
This instrument has very ancient origins. Simply put, a pole was driven into the ground and a rope was tied around the victim's neck. But if the pole was not very thick and the rope was tightened behind the pole, the neck of the victim could be tightened more gradually and easily released.
This sort of torture was used all over the world as testified by etchings. The string tying the victim's neck to the pole could be made of a material that would shrink once wetted, so that the victim would slowly suffocate as it dried. The "improved" Spanish version of this instrument was used for executions. It had a steel collar, larger in size than the victim's neck to prevent strangulation, but, at the same time, tight enough to immobilize the head and the neck.
Preventing neck and head movement was necessary because it allowed the victim's cervical vertebrae to be penetrated by a steel tip, moved by a screw mechanism positioned in the rear of the pole. In theory, such penetration was to be quick and precise, thus, able to administer a rapid and certain death.
Actually, though, the possibility of error and failure is so high that I leave it to the imagination of the reader to consider the suffering it actually inflicted.Branks
These devices had two main features: They exposed the victims to ridicule by forcing them to wear a ridiculous likeness, and, at the same time, they inflicted mortification and physical torture by occluding the victims' mouth or nose and covering their eyes. As we can see in the picture number 3, the victim's mouth was stopped up with a ball to prevent her from screaming and moaning.
The long ears represented the ears of an ass. In Europe, many negative characteristics were attributed to this animal. Even today, donkeys are considered to be the stupid version of horses and the epithet "ass" is still used, in Italy, France and Spain, to define a stupid person.
The version with a pig nose or even a pig head, symbolizes someone dirty. The word pig, when referred to a person, is considered offensive in all European languages.The heretics fork
This instrument consisted of two little forks one set against the other, with the four prongs rammed into the flesh, under the chin and above the chest. A small collar supported the instrument in such a manner that the victims were forced to hold their head erect, thus preventing any movement.
The forks did not penetrate any vital points, and thus suffering was prolonged and death avoided. Obviously the victims' hands were tied behind their back.
The above paragraphs came from various websites. I'm sorry that I used such graphic samples of torture, but I felt the need to see these things and share them because we have a time of trouble on the way which will be much worse than even the days when these Medieval tortures were in use. No doubt, all these tortures have been updated and perfected.
Its good to take a brief glance at what Satan can come up with, in order to "count the cost" as Jesus counseled. We need to go into the coming calamities without being surprised at what the spirit of darkness has in store for his arch-enemies.
There is one consolation: the Latter Rain, which is the only preparation for the tribulation, will be ringing in our ears from the wonderful experience we had expressing to the world what the kingdom of God is, while we were and continue to be surrounded by angelic hosts and filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit. The Pauls, Peters, Stephens, and Johns, the Marys and Marthas, the Tabithas and Priscillas of the 144,000 champions of Law and grace, will be free to speak like never before.
We will have what Paul wrote about when he was in his dungeon on death row, "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Phil. 4:7). Whether running from the devil-possessed wicked or backed into a corner and facing our murderers, our hearts will be burning with love to Jesus, our Friend and Savior, and like our Master, we will be full of pity and love and sorrow toward our persecutors.
For "if the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."