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The Most Terrifying Torture Techniques During the Middle Ages

Jana G.Jana G.

One of the most horrifying types of torture during the Middle Ages was boiling people alive. This was a painful and slow method of execution used throughout Europe, and in Asia before that.

This type of punishment was carried out whenever they caught a person trying to pay with counterfeit money. This punishment existed in 2 forms - throwing the whole person in a boiling cauldron or putting the person in a cauldron of cold water which was then heated up slowly. Another variation of this utilized boiling oil. They also punished criminals, who had poisoned 1 or more persons, in this manner.

Breaking bones while tied up to a wheel was one of the popular torture practices during the Middle Ages. The person was tied up to a large wheel and the torturer would hit all of their limbs with a large hammer until every single bone in them was broken.


Then, the still-alive victim was put up on a tall wooden pylon, to allow birds to rip pieces of meat from the still living person.

Skin flaying was another gruesome torture method. They would use a knife to slowly make cuts, then lift and remove the skin until meat and tendons became visible underneath. They would pour water over the victim the entire time to wake them whenever they passed out from the pain.


Dismemberment of a living person was among the most grim tortures. The condemned was strangled with a noose but only enough to make them pass out. Then they would cut off the arms and legs.

Then they would bring the victim around, cut open the chest and the last thing the victim would see would be their own heart. The insides of the victim were burned and the torso cut into 4.

Torture by way of iron pincers was also gruesome, for they were used to rip whole chunks of flesh. Then they would pour melting wax into the wounds.

During the Middle Ages they would also punish by dismemberment using 4 horses. The victim would have their arms and legs tied with ropes to the tails of 4 horses who would be made to run in different directions.