Medieval Torture Devices Kirkland Cofer

Ordeal by Water

The accused had their hands and feet tied together. They were then thrown into water. If they floated they were guilty but if they sank they were innocent.

Ordeal by Fire

If someone committed a crime, they would be required to carry a hot iron bar a couple of paces. Their hand would then be bandaged. After three days, they would have the bandages removed. If the wound showed signs of healing, the accused would be innocent.

Ordeal by Combat

The accuser and accused would fight to the death. The victor would be considered “in the right.”

Catherine Wheel

This device was widely used by the French and Germans in the medieval ages. The criminal would be tied to a wheel while a executioner or torturer would beat their limbs with a club.

Iron Maiden

The Iron Maiden torture device wasn’t believed to have existed due to how torturous is was described as, but there is proof that it existed, but not used. It consisted of double doors with spikes lining the inside of the sarcophagus.

Torture Rack

The torture rack would dislocate a victim’s limbs, while also slowly tearing their limbs off of their body.


Created with images by quinet - "Gibbet" • ptdh - "forge craft hot" • zaphad1 - "IMG_8364a" • zaphad1 - "IMG_8410" • zaphad1 - "IMG_8396" • Didgeman - "wagon wheel wheel wooden wheel" • VoxLive - "The Torture Museum - Prague - Iron Maiden" • mattmangum - "Torture Museum Iron Maiden" • arenkens - "historical rack torture"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.