25 Most Brutal Torture Techniques Ever Devised in History

Posted by on May 22, 2013

Torture has been a brutal reality for many unfortunate people. But the most unsettling fact about torture’s brutality isn’t its existence, but the way people have injected a perverted sense of creativity (and even pleasure) into the creation of devices designed to inflict pain. To prove our point here are the 25 most brutal torture techniques ever devised.


The Tub

Known as the punishment of ‘sitting in the tub,’ the convicted person would be placed in a wooden tub with only their head sticking out. After that, the executioner would paint their faces with milk and honey; and soon, flies would begin to feed on them. The victim was also fed regularly and would end up swimming in their excrement.  After a few days, maggots and worms would devour their body as they decayed alive.


The Brazen Bull

Also known as the Sicilian Bull, it was designed in ancient Greece. A solid piece of brass was cast with a door on the side that could be opened and latched. The victim would be placed inside the bull and a fire set underneath it until the metal became literally yellow as it was heated. The victim would then be slowly roasted to death all while screaming in agonizing pain.  The bull was purposely designed to amplify these screams and make them sound like the bellowing of a bull.



Given his name, it should come as no surprise that this was the most favored method of execution by Vlad the Impaler. In 15th century Romania; the victim was forced to sit on a sharp and thick pole. When the pole was then raised upright, the victim was left to slide down the pole with their own weight. It could take the victim 3 days to die using this method and it has been said that Vlad once did this to 20,000 people all while enjoying a meal.


Heretics Fork

This torture device consisted of a metal piece with two opposed bi-pronged forks attached to a belt or strap. One end of the device was pushed under the chin, the other to the sternum, and the strap was used to secure the victim’s neck to the tool while the victim hung from the ceiling or was somehow suspended so that they could not sleep. If their heads dropped, the prongs would pierce their throat and chest.


Neck Torture

Humiliating and painful, this punishment was something of an endurance test where the victim would be hooked into a neck device, either made of metal or wood, which prevented the victim from adjusting into a comfortable position. The cruelty of this punishment lie within the fact that they were unable to lie down, eat, or lower their head for days!