Medieval Torture

Torture methods during the middle ages were designed to extract information, serve as punishment which could often result in the death of the person. This torture was violent and there was a lot of blood shed. Castles housed special torture chambers. There were different torture methods for different purposes and the crime committed.

Torture is a systematic and cruel infliction of pain as a form of punishment or to extract information. It inflicts a lot of pain on the person being tortured. Infliction of torture can be done in numerous methods according to the crime done or the information needed. There are also various devices and tools used for torture.

Different Types of Torture during Medieval times

The Rack

According to the crime committed or the information needed to be extracted, various types of torture was used.  In the Rack Torture, the victim’s ankles and tied on one end of a rectangular frame with two rollers on each end.

The wrists are tied on the other end and as time progress, tension is introduced on the rollers, thus inducing excruciating pain.  The Scavengers’s Daughter compressed the body. During this torture, the victims hands, neck and ankles are tied together. This forces the head to go between the knees and forces blood into the ears and head which ill cause pain.

Boot torture was method used when the lord of the manor did not want the culprit to die. Knee high Spanish boots were placed on the culprit’s feet. These boots were made of spongy leather. Hot water was constantly poured on these boots. The leather eventually eroded and there was direct contact with the culprit’s legs.

Other torture methods in the middle ages included

Judas cradle

Judas Cradle

Chair of Torture

The Rack

Brazen Bull

Chinese Iron Maiden



Brown Rats


There were different methods for torture. Some of them were ripping out a person’s nails or teeth, beating, boiling, bone breaking, castration, choking, drowning starvation. Some even considered tickling as a method to inflict suffering on the person. There were also compression of the body or injection of water, vinegar into the person.

There was an executioner who performed these tasks on the order of his lord. During the Medieval times, there was a ruled that a person sentenced to death for a crime would have to be tortured before being executed. This was done to extract as much information from them before dying.

Castles always had torture chambers and dungeons where these deeds were carried out. They were in the lower part of the castles and were not easily accessible. This was planned so that the screams would be muffled by the numerous walls and passages between the torture chambers and the rest of the castle.

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