Gruesome torture methods and terrifying executions



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Typically used to punish poisoners, the condemned were slowly lowered into a huge cauldron of boiling water and tied to a weighted pole so they couldn’t escape. They would than die an agonising death as they cooked inside the vat. Pictured is the Japanese outlaw Ishikawa Goemon who tried to assassinate the warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi. He is trying to save his son from the boiling water.



Typically used as a method of corporal punishment but would often result in death anyway, mutilation was used to punish wrongdoers who had created trouble for the ruling elite. The punishments would reflect their crimes so for example rumour mongers would have their tongues removed.



Like mutilation, cropping was used to punish miscreants but rarely resulted in death straight away. A typical cropping punishment was a failure to heed warnings or obey social betters which resulted in an ear being cut off.

Hung, Drawn and Quartered 

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The worst form of punishment reserved for traitors of the realm was being hung, drawn and quartered. The condemned were hung within an inch of their life to ring the life out of them, than drawn by being pulled through the town on the ground by a horse. They were then gutted by the official executioner with their internal organs being ripped out of them while they still clung to life.



A lingering and hot death awaited heretics of the church in the middle ages. The condemned were tied to a stake and burned on a pyre. If the condemned had friends in the crowd often the horrified bystanders would throw small packets of gun powder to try and kill the condemned more quickly.