The Aztecs sowed horror with their horrific rituals, which were entirely religious-based. According to archaeological and historical research, the Aztecs did not perform cannibalistic rituals to feed themselves.
The gods of the Aztecs had a constant need of bloody human sacrifices. They were carried out in a specific way, with priests of the gods and goddesses taking part in the ritual, while the entire local population gathered to take part in the ritual as well and afterwards – in the consumption of the victims.
The Aztec priests convinced the people that the gods had a constant need of warm blood and human hearts, in order to keep everyone else alive and healthy.
The last ruler of the Aztecs, Montezuma, believed that new human sacrifices must be made almost every day. These were most often the most beautiful young boys and girls, whose families found it to be a great honor that it was they who were chosen to be taken as sacrifices. The Aztecs took great care of these boys and girls throughout a period of one year and fed them with specially chosen food.
Sometimes however, prisoners were sent as sacrifices, since the gods constantly demanded new ones. The various gods of the Aztecs had altars, with each of them needing to be bathed in human blood regularly and with several human hearts being burned in front of them.
Montezuma himself often ripped out the hearts of prisoners, which were bound by their hands and feet, unable to move. Whenever the heart was removed from the chest of the victim, the emperor or priest would lift it up to the sun to show it to the gods.
Once the victim was no longer needed by the gods, the Aztecs ate either the entire body or part of it. The blood was used to smear the hands of children so that they would grow healthy. The body of the victim was chopped into several pieces and cooked on a spit.
If the body was that of a warrior, this guaranteed that anyone who ate from it would receive some of the warrior's strength. If the victim was from the locals, it was simply tied and the priest would slice open its chest to remove its heart.
But if the victim was a chosen prisoner, he was subjected to much torture before being killed, including burning of the eyes, breaking of the bones of the limbs, burning of large areas of skin, and stuffing of hot coals in the mouth.
Prior to the victim dying of torture, the limbs were cut off, the heart was removed and the head was chopped off, then everything was cooked and distributed among those present at the execution.