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10 Of Humanity’s Most Cruel And Horribly Gruesome Execution Methods


Torture has been around for thousands of years. People would barbarically kill others for the most trivial crimes or for cruel and unusual entertainment.

Back in the day, watching someone being tortured to the point of death was like going to see a movie.

You would have to be really sick in the head to even come up with some these horrific torture methods. Check out the list of these horrible forms of execution below. It’s utterly disturbing.


The widespread practice of removing the skin from a still-living body. Generally, an attempt is made to keep the removed portion of skin intact.

Records show that the actual flaying process might begin at various places on the body, such as at the crus (lower leg), the thighs, or the behind.

The typical causes of death due to flaying are shock, critical loss of blood or other body fluids, hypothermia, or infections. The actual death is estimated to occur from a few hours up to a few days after the process begins.


This involved strapping a metal cage or pot containing large rodents against the victim’s body (usually the lower abdomen).

A heating element would be placed on the container, and the rodents’ natural instinct would lead them to flee the intense heat. In order to escape they would burrow through the victim’s body, with painful and slowly fatal results.


Used mainly in England, it is widely considered to be one of the most brutal forms of execution ever devised. In the first the victim was tied to a wooden frame and dragged to the location of their execution.

They were then hanged until nearly dead. Immediately after being taken down their abdomen was opened and their entrails were removed.

As the victim watched they were then burned before his or her eyes. He was then also emasculated and eventually beheaded.

After all of this his body was divided into four parts and placed in various locations around England as a public crime deterrent. This punishment was only used on men for any convicted woman would generally be burnt at the stake as a matter of decency.


This is somewhat self-explanatory. The victims are buried alive, usually within some form of coffin. One of the latest documented cases was during the Nanking Massacre in 1937 when Japanese troops buried Chinese civilians alive.


This forced the victim to sit on a sharp and thick pole. When the pole was then raised upright, the victim was left to slide down onto the pole with their own weight. It could take the victim several days to die using this method.

This method was most favored by Vlad the Impaler in 15th century Romania, and it has been said that Vlad once did this to 20,000 people all while enjoying a luxurious meal.


Closely related to impalement, was a gruesome execution which entailed having the victim sit on a large pyramid-shaped cradle, after which they would slowly be forced down on it by ropes with the intent of stretching the victim’s “orifice” over a long period of time, slowly impaling them.


Also known as the “death by slow cutting” or the “lingering death”. This form of execution was finally outlawed in China at the turn of the 20th century.

It involved small pieces of the victims body being slowly and methodically removed while the executioner tried to keep him or her alive for as long as possible.


Was a terrible device used in most of Europe during the Middle Ages. It’s a very simple instrument that was used to tear a victim’s skin apart. Due to its shape, neither bones nor muscles were spared.

The victim would be tied making him or her completely defenseless…. Then the torturers began the act of mutilating the victim. They often began with the limbs and slowly moved into the chest, back, neck and finally the face.

In short, the Spanish Tickler or Cat’s Paw, is nothing but an extension to the torturer’s hand. The spikes were sharp enough to tear anything in their path.

This instrument was very common in Spain, mostly during the Spanish Inquisition. Though its use in France and England is well recorded, they often adopted different torture methods.


Is where a bamboo shoot is slowly grown through the body of a victim, reportedly used in East and South Asia.

After World War II, stories circulated of Japanese soldiers inflicting “bamboo torture” upon U.S. and Allied prisoners of war, where the victim was tied securely in place above a young bamboo shoot. Over several days, the sharp, fast growing shoot would first puncture, then completely penetrate the victim’s body, eventually emerging through the other side.


Also known as the boats, was an ancient Persian method of execution designed to inflict torturous death that was described by the Persians’ archenemies, the Greeks.

The victim would be firmly fastened within the interior space of two narrow rowing boats (or hollowed-out tree trunks) joined together one on top of the other with the head, hands and feet sticking out.

They were then forced to ingest milk and honey to the point of developing severe diarrhea, and more honey would be poured on him to attract insects, with special attention devoted to the eyes, ears, mouth and face.

He would then be left to float on a stagnant pond or be exposed to the sun. Death, when it eventually occurred, was due to a combination of dehydration, starvation, and septic shock. Delirium would typically set in after a few days.

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