10+ Most Gruesome Torture Methods Used in Ancient Times

Torture has existed for the most part of history. However, one of the most disturbing facts is a number of creative people have injected in torture. From perverse to downright sadistic techniques to maim and punish, some of the most gruesome torture methods in history still linger about. This list will help broaden your horizons

Torture has existed for the most part of history. However, one of the most disturbing facts is a number of creative people have injected in torture. From perverse to downright sadistic techniques to maim and punish, some of the most gruesome torture methods in history still linger about. This list will help broaden your horizons in the aspect.

Torturing Art of the Devil

Used mostly widely in prisons, torture is the main reason why prisons become mad by all means. And when they finally die, their tortured spirits never rest, always waiting to become the torturer. Hence, it is true that devils like the people who torture create more devils. Torturing is, in fact, considered an art and the one who can have the truth spilled out from any criminal by torturing is renowned for his/her skills; no matter how notoriously evil the torturing skills might be. Each one competes to invent a new set of most gruesome torture methods.

The Brazen Bull

The Brazen Bull Torture Methods
Source: gazetabt

Designed and invented by the ancient Greek, the Brazen Bull is often called the Sicilian Bull too. This solid brass bull was designed a with a door to the side. The ill-fated victim would be inserted within, through the door, and a fire would be lit underneath. The metal burned yellow, roasting the victim to death. The screams of agonizing pain emerging would be designed to sound like the amplified bellowing of a bull.


Impalement Gruesome Torture Methods
Source: Fine Art America

Vlad the Impaler was renowned for his most gruesome torture methods that involved impalement. In Romania in the 15th century, this practice was widely popular. The victim would be seated upon a sharp and thick pole. Soon after, the pole would be raised allowing the victim to slide down propelled by their own weight. At one point, Vlad carried the act out on 20,000 people in one go while he ate his dinner. It took up to 3 days for the victim to die.

Heretics Fork

Heretics Fork Gruesome Torture Methods
Source: paseandohistoria

A metal bi-pronged fork strapped to a belt, the Heretics Fork is easily one of the most gruesome torture methods of ancient times. One end of the fork was placed on the sternum while the other propped the victim’s chin up. Next, the belt was strapped to the victim’s neck and they were hung from the ceiling. Suspended, the slightest relaxation or head drop would allow the prongs to pierce their chest and throat.

Neck Torture

Neck Torture Torture Methods
Source: google

More humiliating than the rest, neck torture involved a reverse spike collar that was placed around the victim’s neck. It was made of either wood or metal. Placed in this uncomfortable position, there was no chance of relaxing or lying down. Devoid of sleep, food or even movement, the victim was left in this state for days at a stretch.

The Judas Cradle

The Judas Cradle Torture Methods
Source: Planet Deadly

As if impalement was not enough, someone decided playing a sadistic twist to it would be fun. The Judas Cradle involves a pyramid shaped cradle upon which the victim was placed, tied up. Over time, the victim would be forced down on the large cradle with the help of ropes. Stretching the victim’s orifice was the goal, ending in their eventual impalement. Moreover, the victim was always stripped naked as a form of humiliation. Added to that, the cradle was never washed. Eventual infections coupled with the impalement ended the victim’s life.

Lead Sprinkler

Lead Sprinkler Torture Methods
Source: Can You Actually

Imagine a massive salt shaker but filled with boiling oil, water, tar or molten lead. The lead sprinkler was used lavishly to drop the contents onto the naked bodies of the victims specifically on the stomach and in the eyes. Molten silver was also used to pour into the eyes. This resulted in eventual death and excruciating pain.

Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden Torture Methods
Source: 1stDibs

A large iron cabinet made up the tools used for one of the most gruesome torture methods in history: the Iron Maiden. A small door at the front allowed entry and the interior was decked in spikes. The space within was enough to sufficiently enclose a human body. One within the conical cabinet, the victim was rendered motionless due to the impaling spikes all around. Following the imprisonment, an interrogator would hurl questions at the victim while poking and jabbing at them.


Gruesome Thumbscrew Methods
Source: Wikipedia

Found in multiple variations, the thumbscrew involves a large screw used to crush bones. From fingers and toes to elbows and knees, there is also a large thumbscrew used to crush victim’s heads. Used in medieval times, the device was used to extract admissions from victims. The excruciating pain and fear involvedmakes it easily one of the most gruesome torture methods of olden times.

The Rack

The Rack Torture Methods
Source: google

Dislocating every single joint in your body, the Rack was believed to be top on the list of most gruesome torture methods in medieval ages. It implemented a wooden frame with a set of ropes tied to the top on a handle and at the bottom. After securely tying the victim in place, the handle was turned. The victim was stretched out until their limbs were dislocated. This was not where the torturer stopped. The handle continued turning until the limbs came completely off.

Tongue Tearer

Tongue Tearer Torture Methods
Source: google

The name of the device is enough to render horrifying images to the imagination. An over sized pair of scissors, the victim’s tongue was forcefully gripped in its pincers. After a firm hold was maintained, the tongue was slowly but surely ripped out.

Rat Torture

Rat Torture Torture Methods
Source: Discover Information

Making use of rodents for torture instead of experiments for a change, this ancient method of torture is quite unconventional. A single open sided cage would be strapped to the naked victim’s body and filled with large rodents. Next, a heating element would be brought close to the other end of the cage. In an attempt to flee the burning heat, the rodents would attempt to escape by burrowing through the body. The results were fatal.

Cement Shoes

Cement Shoes Torture Methods
Source: TV Tropes

Introduced by the American Mafia, this depraved torture technique would involve execution by drowning. The victim would be made to place their feet in a cinder block. Wet cement would then be poured inside. After the cement dried up, the victim would be hurled in a large body of water and left stranded for good.

Breast Ripper

Breast Ripper Torture Methods
Source: opinionanonima2

Who said women were not subject to some of the most gruesome torture methods throughout history? Specifically designed to rip out women’s breasts, the torture technique resulted in major blood loss. The claws were heated red hot and placed onto the exposed breasts. With the spikes penetrating the skin, the device would be pulled out leading to large chunks of flesh to tear off.

Saw Torture

Saw Gruesome Torture Methods
Source: All That Is Interesting

Hanging the victim upside down was the first step in this barbaric torture technique. The blood rush to the brain kept them alive for the duration of the torture. While hanging, the prosecutor would proceed to saw the victim in half. In most cases, the victim’s body was only sawed through to the stomach to prolong the torture.

All of these most gruesome torture methods are meant to have your heart stuck in your throats while you relish the fine excruciating detail of each torture method you read. It is, without a doubt, the wickedest thing a human can do while being in consciousness and being aware of the pain the receiving soul is emoting. Imagine the feeling when you can feel a fork sliding slowing into your chest as your jaws fight not to drop. Imagine, you are getting impaled and you feel the pole slowly piercing inside you until it emerges from your own mouth.

Real virtuosi though, who can even think of such ingenious ideas and implement them on criminals so that the rest be afraid to commit any crime. It takes an artistic mind even to develop such torture methods, especially like the rat torture. When it comes to the most gruesome torture methods, all matters is which seat you are sitting on. Would you be the Impaler while you relish a cup of tea? Or would you screech for your life as you sit on the Judas Cradle?

About Ghada Ibrahim

Student, blogger, graphic designer and aspiring cook, Ghada enjoys writing and researching in her spare time.