The 10 Worst Torture Machines
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The 10 Worst Torture Machines

The 10 Worst Torture Machines

Torture is considered as the action of inflicting pain on someone as a way to extract information or punish them. Throughout history, different torture machines have continued to be designed.These torture machines have been used depending on the victim’s social status, gender or crime.Here are the 10 worst torture machines of all time.


The Taser is a modern torture machine that is designed to stop the control of a victim’s muscles.It is an electroshock device that is used by the police around the world.The drive stun taser model is placed on the victim’s body to make them comply solely due to the pain.According to the UN, the taser is an instrument of torture that can even provoke death.In some cases, the Taser has been used by individuals against the rule of law.The use of the Taser for degrading and inhuman treatment has been banned under the international law.


The thumbscrew was once the most used torture machine in Europe.The device consisted of crushing bars that were joined with piercing teeth.The victim’s fingers were placed inside the thumbscrew and slowly crushed as the handle was turned.To make it more painful, the thumbscrew was sometimes heated until it was red hot.This torture machine was mainly used in interrogations so as to extract information or to punish criminals.Larger devices based on the same design were designed for slowly deforming the victim’s toes, feet, knees, and elbows.


The strappado is a machine that inflicts incredible pain on the victims.The use of the strappado started during the Renaissance.In this version, the victims are hung by their hands that are tied behind their back.The strappado causes the arms to slowly pull out from the shoulder sockets.Weights were sometimes added to the feet of the victims to make the hanging extremely painful.When more weight is added, the bodies fall forward, and breathing is impossible.Using the strappado in modern times is a violation of human rights.

7.Cat O’Nine Tails

The cat o’nine tails is a multi-tailed whip with nine lashes knotted to it.The cat o’nine tails is a horrifying torture device that is still used today in some countries for judicial punishment.Some have small metal balls with spikes or barbed wire attached to the ends of the lashes to make the torture more painful.It is believed that the nine cords of the cat o’nine represent the nine lives of a cat and the marks left on the victims were like the scratches of a cat.Punishment by the cat o’nine tails was often administered in hundreds and sometimes the victims died as a result.

6.The German Chair

Torture is almost a certainty in a country locked in civil wars.The German Chair is a torture machine that is used by the government of Syria against its rebels.The legs and hands of the victims are tied to the metal seat while the back of the chair is rapidly pulled almost to the ground.The German Chair causes severe pain to the neck, spine, legs and arms.The spine breaks thus causing permanent damage to the victims.

5.The Head Crusher

This is a ruthless torture machine that was widely used in Europe during the 14th century.Heads of the victims were placed under the upper cap, and the chin was positioned on a bar.The torturer then turned the top screw slowly compressing the skull tightly and causing extreme pain.First, the teeth are shattered, and the jaw disintegrated.The eyes are then squeezed out of their sockets.Lastly, the skull fractures and the victim’s brains forced out.Getting vital information from prisoners was made a lot easier.Although the torture was sometimes stopped, the victim had severely damaged eyes, jaws or brain.

4.The Judas Cradle

This was a terrible torture device that was used during the 16th century.The victim was placed naked on a sharp pyramid-like seat with the sharp point penetrating into the anus.The victim was hung by an iron belt around the waist, and both legs were tied to increase the pain.Weights were sometimes added on the victim’s legs to hasten the death and enhance torture.The torture would either last a few hours or several complete days.During certain times, the torturers would lift the victims off the pyramid so as to prolong their lives and cause more pain.

3.The Breast Ripper

This is a brutal torture machine that was used on women who had committed adultery or abortion.This device used to punish the women by cruelly mutilating their breasts.The device contained four claws that were often heated before slowly ripping off the breasts.The red-hot device was positioned over the exposed breasts then the torturer pulled off, shredding and ripping the breasts.The women who survived were disfigured for the rest of their lives.

2.The Breaking Wheel

Also known as the Catherine wheel, this device was reserved for the most hated criminals.The breaking wheel consists of a large wagon wheel with many spokes.The spokes held the victim’s body while the wheel was revolved slowly.The torturer then hit the victim with a hammer on the chest, stomach and limbs to break their bones.The wheel always killed the victim, but very slowly.Once the bones of the unfortunate victims were systematically broken, they would be let to live for several days before succumbing to the injuries.Sometimes the victims would remain tied to the breaking wheel as crows and insects feasted on them until death.

1.Pear Of Anguish

The Pear of Anguish was used to punish women who miscarried, blasphemers and homosexuals.This torture machine was made of four leaves that separated from each other as the top was slowly turned.The Pear of Anguish was inserted into the mouth for liars and blasphemers, the vagina for women or the anus for homosexuals.This torture rarely caused death but left the victim very mutilated.The Pear of Anguish is often showcased in museums that are committed to the subject of torture.

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