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List of all History Rundown Top 20, Top 10, Top 6, Top 5, Top 4 and Top 3 articles.


10 Most Cruel Torture Devices of All Time

Throughout the history, people have devised a wide variety of ingeniously hideous methods of torture as a form of punishment for crimes, or simply to extract information. Here is a quick rundown of 10 most cruel and hideous torture devices and methods to ever come out of the darkest corners of the human history.

10.Chinese Water Torture

Although not painful or destructive in nature, Chinese water torture is often deemed one of the most debilitating torture methods ever conceived. This type of torture was also often used by Spanish Inquisition, as one of the first ”humane” torture methods.

Victims were restrained to a wooden table, and cold or warm water was then dripped slowly onto their forehead, allegedly driving them insane. On a Mythbusters episode, this idea was tried out, and they found out that the combination of restrainment, cold water, and the uncertainty when the next drop will fall, could become maddening after just few hours. Victims could be easily driven insane as they soon started to perceive a hollow space being gradually formed at the center of their forehead.

9.The Judas Cradle

The Judas Cradle, also known as Judas chair, was a torture device invented in century Spain. During this torture, the criminal was first positioned in the waist harness above the sharp, pyramid-shaped seat. The point was then inserted into anus or vagina of the person, and then the person was slowly lowered by a system of ropes.

Medieval depiction of the Judas Cradle

The victims were usually naked, adding to the overall humiliation of the torture, and tortured by intense pressure and stretching of the orifice. Sometimes, various weights were tied to the legs, to dramatically increase the pain, and eventually tear muscular tissues of the orifice.

This torture could last from a few hours to several days. Device was never washed, so the torture could often lead to painful infection or even death.


The Thumbscrew was one of the most prevalent interrogatory torture devices of the Medieval Europe. It was a simple vice, with its crushing bars often lined with sharp metal tooth. It was used to slowly crush the victim’s thumbs or other fingers.


The crushing of the fingers was achieved by turning the handle on the top, slowly pushing its toothed crushing bars together. This torture method was primarily used to extract confessions from the prisoners, as it was both extremely painful and very lasting.

In the next stages of the torture, similar device, called ”the Boot” was often used to slowly crush the person’s feet.

7.Spanish Donkey

Similar to Judas’s Cradle, but much worse, spanish donkey(also known as wooden horse) was mostly used by the Spanish Inquisition during the Late Middle Ages. It was a sharply angled wooden device of triangular shape, pointing upward, mounted on a horse-leg like support poles.

Spanish donkey(wooden horse)

The naked victim was then made to sit on the the main board as if riding a horse, and various weights were attached to his or her feet, to increase the agony and prevent the victim from falling off.

According to historical sources, the wedge occassionally sliced entirely through the victim as a result of too much weight being attached to his or her feet.

This device was allegedly used during the American Civil War by Union soldiers, against their Confederate prisoners, who were forced to sit on the donkey until they passed out.

6.Coffin Torture

During the Middle Ages, the coffin was one of the most prevalent torture and execution methods, often seen in various movies set in the .medieval Europe The victims were stripped naked, and placed inside a metal cage, roughly made in the shape of the human body. Overweight victims were often forced into the smaller ”coffin”,for increased discomfort. The cage was then hung from a tree, gallows or city walls.

Human-shaped Coffin

Serious crimes, such as heresy or murder, were punishable by death inside the coffin. Victim usually died from thirst, hunger or hypothermia during the course of next few days. Sometimes, onlookers would throw rocks and spoiled food to the victims, to further increase the humiliation and pain. After the person died, his flesh was devoured by birds and insects, leaving only a skeleton.

However, the coffin was not used only for execution, but also as a temporary punishment for minor offenders, who were placed in the coffin only for few days.

5.Lead Sprinkler

The lead sprinkler was a torture device often used to shower victims with molten lead, boiling oil, boiling water, tar or acid. It was essentially a ladle placed at the end of a long, iron handle. At first, the upper half of the sphere was removed, and the lower half was subsequently filled with the liquid of executioner’s choice. The perforated upper half was then re-attached, and shaking of the sprinkler showered the victim with the hot liquid inside the ladle.

Lead Sprinkler

Another variations of this torture method included pouring molten metal to victim’s mouth, anus or vagina, causing great deal of pain, serious inner burns, and eventual death. In Mongol Empire, the worst criminals were sometimes punished by pouring molten silver to their eyes.

4.Breast Ripper

A torture device designed especially for use on women, the breast ripper was one of the most brutal torture methods in the whole Middle Ages. It was usually used as a punitive or interrogational device on female criminals accused of adultery, self-induced abortion, blasphemy, heresy or witchcraft.

Breast Ripper

The red hot claws were placed on the victim’s exposed breasts, with the spikes penetrating them, achieving a powerful grasp. The ripper was then pulled away, ripping and shredding the breasts. Victim was usually scarred for life, as her breasts were usually torn apart. Due to heavy blood loss or infection, death often followed.

A common variant of the Breast Ripper was known as “The Spider,” or ”Tarantula”. It was a similar instrument attached to a wall of torture chamber. Breasts of the victim were fixed to the clawed bars and she was then pulled by the executioner away from the wall, severely mutilating or even tearing her breasts off.

3.The Rack

Who could forget the rack, commonly considered one of the most painful forms of medieval torture?

The Rack consisted of a large rectangular wooden frame, with a roller at one or both ends. Victim was positioned on the frame, his ankles were fastened to one roller and the wrists to the other. As the interrogation process progressed, a handle attached to the top roller was used to gradually stretch the limbs away from the body, resulting in excruciating pain.

File:A Torture Rack.jpg

Rack in the Tower of London

The ropes would pull the victim’s arms and legs, eventually dislocating his joints with loud popping noises, snapping his muscles and ligaments, and sometimes even ripping the person’s upper limbs right off his body.

Even forcing the prisoners to watch someone else being tortured on the rack was often enough to extract confessions.

In the later Middle Ages, a new, even more gruesome design of the rack appeared. Spikes penetrating victim’s back were also added, so as the limbs were pulled apart, also was the spinal cord.

2.Crocodile Shears

The crocodile shears were a torture instrument used in late medieval Europe and usually reserved for men who tried to assassinate the king. These shears were made of metal, based on the concept of pincers. The insides of their hemicylindrical blades were lined with a great amount of spikes.

Crocodile shears

After being heated to an excruciatingly hot temperature, the crocodile shears were applied to the victim’s erect penis, which was then torn from his body, or, if he was lucky, the device could just lead to intense bleeding from the severed arteries. Sounds like a device from hell, if there is one.

1.The Head Crusher

The head crusher was a brutal torture device commonly used only by the Spanish Inquisition. The person’s chin was placed over a bottom bar and the head under a uppermetal cap. The executioner then slowly turned the screw, gradually compressing the head between the bar and cap.

Head Crusher(previously used by Spanish Inquisition)

At first, the teeth were smashed and disintegrated into the jaw, then the eyes followed. Some variants of the head crusher even included a small containers that received the eyeballs squeezed out of the person’s eye sockets. The agony could last several hours, until the victim’s brain was finally crushed.

This horrendous instrument was an effective way to extract confessions from the victims, as the suffering could be prolonged to indefinite time, if the executioner chose to. However, even if the torture was stopped midway, the person, although still alive, often had irreversibly damaged brain, eyes or jaw.

Execution by elephant in Persia(Louis Rousselet, 1868)

In the medieval India and Persia, trained elephants were often used to crush the heads of criminals. This practice continued well into the 19th century. Execution by elephant in Persia(Louis Rousselet, 1868)




Top 5 Reasons 9/11 Was NOT an Inside Job!

On September 11, 2001, at 8:45 a.m. during a clear Tuesday morning, 19 terrorists associated with the Islamic millitant group of Al-Qaeda hijacked 4 aircrafts and carried out suicide attacks against the Twin Towers of WTC and Pentagon. Often referred to as 9/11, these horrible attacks resulted in widespread death and destruction, triggering many subsequent American initiatives to combat terrorism. More than 3,000 people died during the attacks in the NY City and Washington, D.C., including more than 500 firefighters and police officers.

September 11 attacks, short time after the South Tower was struck by an hijacked airplane

However, just after the attacks, a lot of people started to question many of the alleged ”inconsistencies” in the official conclusions and reports, leading to dozens of conspiracy theories, which question the official nature and motive of the 9/11. In this article, we are going to look on 5 of the most frequent arguments for the alleged ”inside job”, and disprove them step-by-step, using the available evidence.

1.Fires from Kerosene are not hot enough to melt steel.

According to this argument, frequently cited by the people who think 9/11 was an inside job, the kerosene fires, with temperatures well below the melting point of construction steel(2750 °F), would be definitely not capable of severely damaging the steel framework of the Twin Towers, and therefore causing them to collapse.

Hijacked airplane approaching the South Tower

However, in reality, it is more than enough. Although jet fuel burns only at about 1517 °F, it doesn’t have to burn hot enough to melt steel to cause the buildings to collapse, since steel loses 50% of its strength just at 1200 °F, and 90% at 1800°F

In addition, the fact which is often ignored, most of the airplanes contain large amounts of aircraft aluminium, a mixture of aluminium and magnesium, in their wings. Magnesium does burn at 5610 degrees, which is more then enough to melt even the most durable of of steels, in fact, magnesium fire is hot enough to actually vaporize most of the metals, including construction steel!

As professor Forman Williams notes,”The jet fuel was only the ignition source. It burned for maybe 10 minutes, and the Twin Towers were still standing after 10 minutes. However, the rest of the stuff that burned afterwards was responsible for the sustained heat that eventually brought the Towers down.”

It is true, that the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were designed to withstand the impact of any major passenger jet. And actually, they did. It was not the impact, that destroyed the Towers, in reality, Twin Towers were brought down by subsequent fires.

2. The Pentagon was hit by a missile, not a commercial plane. Nobody saw any aeroplane approaching the Pentagon.

According to this widely known argument, hole in the wall of Pentagon was far too small to have been made by a Boeing 757 crash. Because of that, many conspiracy theoretics conclude, that the Pentagon was struck by a guided missile.

File:Aerial view of the Pentagon during rescue operations post-September 11 attack.JPEG

Aerial view of the Flight 77 crash aftermath

However, the truth is much more prosaic. A crashing jet never punches a cartoon-like outline of itself into a concrete building. In the case of Pentagon, aircraft allegedly crashed in sharp angle, with one wing hitting the ground, and other being destroyed by the impact to the Pentagon’s main columns. According to further simulations, rest of the plane was simply assimilated to the concrete structure, after the crash.

According to available reports, there were more than 120 eyewitnesses who saw a large jet approaching the Pentagon. Many of them reported that it was an American Airlines jet, and that the noise of the aircraft was exteremely loud. No witnesses at all reported sighting a military aircraft or guided missile.

Aftermath of the Flight 77 crash to the Pentagon, with aircraft debris scattered around

Conspiracy theorists often insist there was no aircraft debris left at the Pentagon. However, evidence suggest otherwise. There was a lot of various airplane debris scattered around the crash site, including parts of the aircraft body, engine rotor, and remnants of the gear. In addition, Boeing 757’s black box was found few hours after the crash.

3. The mysterious collapse of World Trade Center Building 7

Seven hours after the Twin Towers collapsed, the 47-story high WTC 7 followed. According to many conspiracy theorists, the videotapes of the collapse clearly show, that it was not a collapse caused by a fire, but rather a controlled demolition.

Collapse of the WTC 7

However, in reality, the Building 7 was at first damaged by falling debris, and then the building endured a fire that raged for more than 7 hours(!). According to NIST research, before the collapse of WTC 7, there was already a serious physical damage to the south face of the building. “On about one third of the south face to the center and to the bottom, on more than 10 stories, about one quarter of the depth of the building was scooped out after the Twin Towers collapsed.”

In addition, subsequently to the collapse of Twin Towers, a fifth-floor fire in the central part of WTC 7 was ignited by the debris, and burned for at least 7 hours. Because of the irreversible damage caused by the fire, WTC 7 then collapsed from the inside. Building 7 may have withstood the physical damage or the fires that burned for hours separately, but the combination of the both factors, when applied to the building’s unusual construction, was enough to start the chain-reaction collapse.

For more insight into the WTC 7 collapse, check out the

4. There were traces of thermite found in the ruins of WTC

According to alleged evidence, traces of thermite, a mixture of rust and powder zinc, which burns at extremely high temperatures, were found in the ruins, indicating the controlled demolition.

9/11 ground zero. Note the steel column, which appears as it has been cut.

In this photo of the WTC ruins, we can see a steel column, which appears as it has been cut. Conspiracy theorists claim that it is impossible to create such a cut by a welding tool, and that it was designed to make the building fall. They also claim that the yellow substance on the side of the column is residue from a thermite reaction, which cut the column before the buildings collapsed.

If we examine these claims closely, we will quickly come to a conclusion that termite was definitely not used to bring the Twin Towers down. At first, the photo above was made on 10/9, nearly one month after the 9/11 attacks. At the time, cleanup of the debris was more than two weeks underway, and it is very likely that the column above was cut by workers cleaning up the ground zero.

Thermite in general makes an irregular hole with many drips and blobs of molten metal around. It is not capable of making clean cuts in any way, in contrast with metal welding. The yellow smoke and residue is often left after gas welding, and it has nothing to do with thermite. In comparison, thermite residue is always black colour, sometimes with slight tones of red.

5. During the collapse of the Twin Towers, puffs of dust and debris were ejected from the sides of the buildings.

When we look closely on the videotapes of the Twin Towers collapsing, we can notice that there were several isolated ejections of dust and debris from the Towers during their collapse. Conspiracy theoretics often consider this to be one of the most direct pieces of evidence for the controlled demolition of the Towers.

Collapse of the WTC South Tower. Note the puff of dust on its left side

This argument can be easily refuted in many different ways. Like the vast majority of other office buildings, the Twin Towers were mostly composed of air. After the Towers started to collapse, upper floors were gradually falling on the lower, creating a pancake effect. During the collapse, small geysers of concrete dust were ejected from the opened office windows in the lower floors, because of the pressurized air.

The built-up air pressure during the collapse of Twin Towers was maybe not enough to blast windows, but it was definitely sufficient enough to blow the pulverized concrete out of the windows which had been already opened.

WTC North Tower collapsing

In addition to that, somebody would definitely notice the massive amounts of explosives being brought to the Twin Towers before the explosions. It would be extremely unpractical, and the sheer amount of people working in the Twin Towers every day makes this scenario virtually impossible. In addition, to wire the Towers with explosives, US Government would need to hire hundreds of people to do the job. Possibility of unwanted information leaks would be extreme.

However, even with the ”inside job” theory being blown to pieces, there is still a small possibility that US Government was really behind the 9/11 attacks. It is not very likely, but they could have a wide variety of political and economic motives to destroy the Twin Towers. In reality, no guided missiles, explosives or thermite are needed, hiring a group of terrorists to do the dirty work for them would be more than enough. 

As famous English writer Alan Moore once said, “The most important thing that I have ever learned about the conspiracy theories, is that conspiracy theorists believe in a conspiracy because that is more comforting for them. The truth of the world is that it is chaotic. Not the Jewish banks, The Illuminati, and not even the Grey Aliens are in control.
The truth is far more frightening – nobody is in control. The world is rudderless.”