A coffin collar was used to prevent grave robbers from stealing corpses. It was fixed round the neck of a corpse and bolted to the bottom of a coffin. This picture shows the back of a collar from Kingskettle in Fife. The collar dates from around 1820. The iron collar is fixed to a piece of wood. There was a widespread fear of grave robbers in the 18th and early 19th centuries. The demand for corpses was created by advances in the study of anatomy. Corpses were stolen and sold for…
Intestinal Crank. The (conscious) victim was tied to a table, where an incision was made to his abdomen wide enough for the torturer’s hand to fit inside. His small intestine was then separated from the bottom of the stomach with a hook and attached to a crank. Slowly, the crank would turn, pulling out the intestine from the gut inch by inch. The victim, and those witnessing the torture, would see anywhere between 9 to 18 feet (3 to 6 meters) collect around the shaft of the crank.
The Pear of Anguish was used during the Middle Ages as a way to torture women who conducted a miscarriage, liars, blasphemers and homosexuals. A pear-shaped instrument was inserted into one of the victim’s orifices: the vagina for women, the anus for homosexuals and the mouth for liars and blasphemers.
Thumbscrew. A prisoner would place his thumbs between two flat metal pieces, connected by one or more screws. The metal bars had ridges, either smooth bumps or sharp spikes, that would bore into a victim’s thumbs, trapping him into the metal mechanism as his bones were crushed. It was a small torturous device that inflicted extreme pain, without too much effort.
Judas Cradle. The victim was hoisted above the pyramid and slowly lowered, crotch first, onto its sharpened pinnacle. Hinging on the torturers mood, he could vary the amount of the victim’s body weight applied to the point.
Rack. This is one of the most common instruments of torture occurring in historical descriptions. Rack used throughout Europe. Usually this weapon is a large table with legs or without them, who were forced to lie on the convict, and his hands and legs were fixed with wooden dice. Immobilized in this way, the victim is stretched
Wheel. Popular in the Middle Ages unit, both torture and execution, used only when the charges of witchcraft. Usually, the procedure was divided in two phase, both the painful enough. The first consisted of fractures of the greater part of the bones and joints using a small wheel called a grinding wheel and fitted out numerous spines.
The rack is a wooden frame with a roller at each end. Prisoners were strapped onto the mock table to keep from squirming, as their wrists and ankles were tied to a roller. They then began to turn in opposite directions, stretching out the body slowly until their joints were dislocated.
This device stifles the screams so as not to disturb the conversation of torturers. The iron "box" on the inside of the ring is forced into the victim's mouth and the collar fastened behind their neck. A small hole allows the passage of air but this can be stopped up by a touch of the executioner's fingertip, producing suffocation.