Women have been victims of subjugation and control by men since time immemorial. Reading through history, you will most likely chance upon ghastly cases where females have been tortured to death. In most cases, tortures were inflicted on women for reasons like witch craft, murder, blasphemy and also for suppression of sexuality. The methods of torture created by menfolk were always brutal and were basically invented for humiliation. These methods not only inflicted grievous injuries to a woman’s body, but, also put her soul to immense shame. Most of these methods led to a bloody end. While, many of these methods have ceased to exist now, but, some remain even today. So, without further ado, let’s get on with our collection of the 21 most scary and brutal torture methods for females.
Genital mutilation has to be a woman’s most horrid experience. This practice has ancient roots, but, is still present today in many African nations. Circumcision of genitalia is a brutal form of torture inflicted on young girls and is approved by elders and tribal communities in Africa. In ancient Egypt, most young girls were subjected to this form of torture wherein their clitorises were cut off partially or completely. Even ancient tribes of Aborigines used this form of torture on girls to prevent them from enjoying sex. In most cases, girls as young as 14 or 15 are circumcised using unsanitized tools like blades and knives. In many of these cases, women eventually bleed out and die.
The Republican Marriage was a humiliating method to torture priests and nuns during the period of French Revolution. The victims (man and a woman) were stripped nude and then bound together in full public view. These people were then inflicted injuries by stabbing, and then, were thrown into rivers or lakes. This form of punishment ultimately led to death by drowning.
One of the most brutal torture devices for females devised by men to punish them was the infamous Spanish Donkey. This sharp wedged torture tool basically cut the female into half while she sat or straddled on top of it, and her crotch slowly cut or ripped apart. Many a times, the surface of the wedge would have spikes to inflict maximum pain. The device was used in Medieval Times, specially during the Spanish Inquisition.
The Middle Ages were called Dark for a number of reasons, one among them being the severe and inhuman torture methods used to punish people. There were a number of ghastly torture devices for females as well as for males back then. One of the scariest devices used to torture women was the saw. Sawing a woman or a man in half was a common thing. Such women who were found guilty of adultery or witchcraft were usually sawed in half by hanging them upside down and with their legs spread out. Two men usually carried out the sawing that lasted for a long time. It was a very brutal and painful way of dying.
The torture methods for females listed today were basically meant for publicly shaming females for a variety of reasons. One among these methods to torment wives and young girls was the chastity belt. Though, not a torture device per se, but, the chastity belt could inflict humiliation on a woman at the hands of her suspecting father or husband. Making a woman wear such a belt was a direct insult for her and her character. It was in 1405 that the use of chastity belt came into light in Florence. Such a device was meant for stopping women from cheating on their husbands and also to prevent masturbation which was regarded as a taboo. This belt was worn like a harness, and was locked. The key was kept with a person in charge.
Women have been raped by men for centuries. This form of torture was commonly meted out to women for a number of reasons. History will bear testimony to various heinous episodes where women were gang-raped by hundreds of men. Rapes were committed on women prisoners to get their confessions, like in prisons of Mexico and Iran. Many organizations still keep women as sex slaves and routinely rape them for torturing. Rape as a method of torture is one of the oldest form of tormenting and humiliating women.
A very cruel invention by the Italians, the Judas Cradle was a torture device used primarily on women. It was a tool, the seat of which was shaped in the form of a pyramid. The victim, typically a woman, would be forced to sit on this seat with a pointed tip using a rope. The pressure would force the tip to insert the woman’s anus or vagina and tear her muscles from inside. To add more to this cruel torture, the woman’s heels would be tied down with weights. This would be done to inflict the maximum pain and damage.
During the rule of Qing Dynasty, it was quite common to see a Chinese woman or man tortured to Death using a number of brutal methods. One among these was the removal of eyes from the eye sockets. Any person, whether man or woman, found guilty of adultery was tortured in which many methods were used. Some women were tied down to a pole, then, their eyes were gouged out using some sharp tool. The blood was then collected in a bowl. There were other inhumane methods used like flogging, removal of fetuses by cutting open wombs, sawing and beheading.
Mostly used on women accused of carrying on miscarriages, the Pear of Anguish was a brutal torture device used in the Middle Ages. If it was a woman who was to be punished, the device, shaped in the form of a pear would be inserted forcibly into her vagina, thereby, mutilating the insides. It comprised of four leaves and was made of metal. The level of pain could be adjusted by turning the screws located on top of the pear. The torture meted out using the pear of anguish was a painful one and was also carried out on liars and blasphemers.
Meant for both men and women, the Iron Chair was a torture tool in which the victims were seated, only to be pierced by sharp edged spikes covering the chair. The torture lasted for several hours and days. This device was used widely in the Middle Ages to scare people to confess to crimes. Most of the times, victims died from blood loss.
Torture using the infamous Water Cure was a very painful way to punish women and men accused of various crimes. In this form of torture, the victim would be forced to gulp down dozens of pints of water with her nose clipped. The session would last till the time the women choked on her own vomit. Many a time, to make the torture even more painful, the torturer would force down vomit or urine down the funnel. Madame de Brinvilliers, a French aristocrat was punished using water cure. She was accused of a conspiracy to murder her father and brothers. Following her arrest, she was forced to drink 16 pints of water after which she confessed.
Foot binding was not a torture method per se, but, it nevertheless was painful. The tradition of foot binding was widely followed in ancient China and was a process of beautification of young girls. The procedure was quite gruesome in which a Chinese girl’s toes were broken, and tied backwards on the soles of her feet. The material used for binding was silk cloth. The process involved forcing the girl to walk in that painful condition till the time the required length of the feet was attained. Usually, the most desired length among the Chinese was 3 inches. This was called Golden Lotus, and was the most sought after length for young girls.
All forms of torture methods for females devised till date have always been targeted for achieving one aim – ‘TO HUMILIATE FEMALES’. The Breast Ripper was one such devise meant for torturing such women that became mothers outside wedlock. The tool consisted of two huge prongs that were used on the nipples to tear them off the body. It was used to publicly shame unwed women who had bore children. Though, the device was banned in the Middle Ages, but, it is still used by the terrorist organization ISIS to punish Syrian women.
Burning at the stake was reserved for such women that were guiltily of witchcraft and heresy. It was basically a form of capital punishment practiced from 15th to 18th century in England. Burning at the stake was a painful way to torment a woman who would take hours to burn completely before breathing her last. Mostly, women passed out while at the stake because of inhaling smoke. But, in certain cases, they would remain fully conscious while witnessing their skin burn and slowly eat away into their flesh. The ultimate result was death.
It was rather a mundane thing to witness a medieval woman tortured to death using a number of horrific torture instruments. One device that wasn’t necessarily painful was the Scold’s Bridle. In Medieval times, a woman who was a gossiper was labeled a Scold, and most men forced their gossiping wives into silence by putting their heads in the Scold’s Bridle. The device prevented women from talking. The Bridle was made of an iron mask and was put over the head of a woman accused of nagging or gossiping. It comprised of spikes that prevented women to open their mouths. The most humiliating aspect about using the tool was forcing women to parade in public wearing the Bridle.
Torturing couldn’t have been more brutal and painful than impaling someone on a pole. This form of torture resulted in death, and was used extensively in the 15th century by Vlad III who was famously called Vlad The Impaler. In Romania, accused men and women were forced to sit on pointed poles. The poles were then raised to force inside the anuses of the victims. The victims were left pierced and stayed alive for the next couple of days before breathing their last. It was a painful way of executing anyone.
Women accused of witchcraft were usually tortured using dunking. In this form of torture, the accused woman was forcibly made to sit on a chair, tied with ropes. The chair was then raised on top of a water body like a lake, and then lowered into it with the woman. It was done repeatedly so as to choke the woman under water and to pressurize her to give her confession. It was during Spanish Inquisition that dunking was used widely to curb witchcraft. It was also used in France and England to punish witches.
This method of torturing or punishing people was common in the 15th century, and was administered widely on both men and women found guilty of poaching, blasphemy and other small crimes or offenses. It was carried out using a rod or whip on a person’s back and butt. It was made legal in England with the passing of the Whipping Act in 1530. Whipping posts were built to carry out public flogging of the accused men and women.
This was a very cruel and humiliating form of torture inflicted on women accused of witchcraft. In this form of torture, women were suspended in air by tying their hands, and weights attached to their feet. This tore the back and shoulder muscles and caused immense pain, followed by death. It was a severe form of torture and any woman undergoing it was hung naked for all to mock her. This torture had other variations like strappado used widely during the Spanish Inquisition.
Throughout history, men have used such torture methods for females that will send shudders down your spine. Many sordid tales of women tortured to death will come to your notice when you read through the pages of history. However, there were a few that were intended for the sole purpose of shaming. These didn’t result in deaths. One such method was called the neck violin torture that was meant to shame squabbling women. The instrument was fixed to the necks of each woman and locked for a certain period of time. The women had no other alternative but to tolerate each other and say sorry to the authorities.
The accused woman, when undergoing torture on the rack, would usually experience excruciating pain when she would be placed on the wooden framed rack with rollers on both the ends. With her ankles bound to one roller and wrists tied with the other, she would undergo brutal interrogation by men who would slowly turn the handle so as to crack her limbs. This torture method was one of the most painful among those used in the dark ages.
All these above mentioned torture rituals were outright appalling. Women suffered a great deal all throughout history, specially the Middle Ages. While, some of these torture methods for females rendered permanent disability, others led to a painful ending.