History’s Most Terrifying Ways of Punishing People

The Rack

3. The Rack

Hailing from medieval Europe is the gruesome rack. The accused would be placed with their ankles attached to a roller and their wrists chained together on a rectangular wooden frame that was raised slightly above the ground.

The punishment would begin slowly with a gradual crank of the roller that would exert increasing strain on the body. During the “stretching” process, it is said that loud cracking, snapping, and popping of bones and cartilages could be heard.

Eventually, the sufferer’s joints would be completely dislocated with the separation of their shoulders and hips from their torso. Other variations of the punishment would include the placement of hot coals on various parts of the sufferer’s body and having other prisoners watch the racking.

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