25 Of The Most Brutal Execution Methods In History

Scaphism

Scaphism

In Ancient Persia, a criminal would be placed in a tree trunk with only head, hands, and feet sticking out. Then they were force fed milk and honey until they get crazy diarrhea. Near, or on, a pond, their exposed skin was covered in honey to attract the attention of insects and as their shit began to pile up, more and more insects would gather. The insets would eventually use the person's skin as a breeding ground as it turned gangrenous. Death would be a welcome occurrence but could take up to two whole weeks!

Could anything possibly be worse than that?!

Guillotine

Guillotine

The good old fashioned guillotine! Although outlawed now, this is perhaps one of the least brutal methods of execution on this list. In fact, it was invented in France as a way of simply ending life as a form of punishment, rather than ensuring horrific torture that led to death.



Republican Marriage

Republican Marriage

No, this had nothing to do with Melania.

It's much more simple than that. A man and a woman would be tied together and thrown in a body of water to drown. We're guessing it would be for crimes such as adultery.

Cement Shoes

Cement Shoes

Courtesy of the American mafia, this one is pretty self-explanatory.



Elephants

Elephants

Yep, elephants are quite heavy. However, when used as a method of execution in southeast Asia, the elephants used to be trained to make sure the death was a slow one, simply to show the power of the ruler who ordered the death.

Walk The Plank

Walk The Plank

The pirates knew how to deal with the business of people removal (removal from the planet of the living, that is). Of course, whether you could swim or not might have prolonged your life a little if it weren't for the sharks that they'd dump you in the middle of.



Bestiarii

Bestiarii

Sometimes, the people who fought animals in Ancient Rome did so by choice, for money and fame. Other times, they did so as political prisoners like Russell Crowe did in Gladiator.

Mazzatello

Mazzatello

A prisoner would be simply struck on the head with a mallet, right next to their awaiting coffin. Then, they'd be finished off by having their throat cut.



Upright Jerker

Upright Jerker

Often used in the Middle East, this method was actually invented in the United States. I guess it's kind of like a hanging except they go up (quickly and violently) instead of drop.

Sawing

Sawing

This was supposedly practiced widely in both Europe and Asia and is one of the more brutal on this list. It's exactly as is pictured, starting at the groin (ouch!). Because the victim was upside down, there'd be plenty of blood in the brain to keep the person conscious as long as possible - usually until the saw was somewhere near the large blood vessels of the abdomen!



Flaying

Flaying

Yes. This is removing somebody's skin as a method of execution. Wow!

Blood Eagle

Blood Eagle

It sounds like a cool name for a band but we're sure it isn't a cool way to die. Basically, a person's ribs would be broken near the spine so that they looked like wings, then their lungs would be pulled out and salt poured over the wounds.



Gridiron

Gridiron

It's basically just broiling a person over hot coals. We can't imagine that death was quick.

Crushing

Crushing

The same as with the elephant only with big old boulders and rocks.



Breaking Wheel

Breaking Wheel

The victim would be tied to a wheel and spun around occasionally as the executioner delivered blows with an implement of some brutal description. Doesn't sound like a nice way to die to me....

The Spanish Tickler

The Spanish Tickler

I'll let you in on a little secret: despite being called the "Spanish tickler", this method didn't tickle. It was probably Spanish though. I'm sure you can figure out what happens just by looking at the implements involved, however, if your imagination isn't what it used to be: these tools would be used to rip the victim's skin from their body.



Burning at the Stake

Burning at the Stake

Tied up and burned alive. Any questions?

Bamboo

Bamboo

Bamboo grows up to one foot each day, and so it could be used as a torturous execution method. Basically, a victim would be tied down over the top of some bamboo shoots which would grow up in to their skin and flesh, slowly impaling them.



Premature Burial

Premature Burial

This is exactly as it sounds: burying somebody alive.

Ling Chi

Ling Chi

This was used in China and was outlawed around the turn of the 20th Century. The executioner would take pieces from the victim's body with a knife, careful to do so in such a fashion that would keep them alive and enduring pain as long as possible.



Seppuku

Seppuku

This was when a Samurai was allowed to die with honor. To do so, he would have to disembowel himself. The best he could hope for in this situation was to have a merciful friend on hand to cut his throat as soon as his insides started to come outside.

Brazen Bull

Brazen Bull

Used in Ancient Greece, a hollow bull statue was made in which the victim could fit. It was then placed over the fire and the person inside would cook. Morbidly, the acoustics were designed so that the victim's screams sounded like the noise a bull would make to those on the outside.



Columbian Necktie

Columbian Necktie

We can't actually show you a picture of this on this time slot and so here's a simple picture of an actual tie....

Drug cartels in Latin America would use this as a warning not to mess with them. It involved cutting the person's throat and pulling their tongue out to hang like a tie. They'd then be placed somewhere public.

Crucifixion

Crucifixion

The one that that guy Jesus made famous!

To be fair, it's just about as brutal as an execution could have been (although I think I'd prefer to have this one over that brazen bull thing).

They'd have to carry their own cross to the site, before being nailed or tied to it, and left to die there for what could be weeks. Death was usually by suffocation, simply because the person didn't have any energy left to hold themselves up.



Hanged, Drawn, and Quartered

Hanged, Drawn, and Quartered

The victim would be tied to a wooden frame and dragged to the location of their doom. They were then hung until they were almost, but not quite, dead. Next, their abdomen would be sliced open and the insides would be burned. They'd have their penis cut off and finally, their head taken too. Finally, the body would be cut in to four parts and placed on public display as a deterrent for others to commit the same offense.

Note: only used on men.