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Guillotine. Source: zef art / Adobe Stock.

Blood and Blades: The Gruesome Reality of Witnessing the Guillotine (Video)


The guillotine - a so-called "humane" killing machine - was used to execute countless individuals during the French Revolution. Its swift, efficient method of death sparked a shift in public sentiment towards capital punishment, with many recoiling at the grandiose public spectacles of the past. Although touted as a painless alternative to traditional beheading or hanging, crowds had mixed reactions to the blade's descent.

Some spectators questioned the so-called painless contraption of death, while others demanded the blood and gore of the past. But what was it really like to be there for the bone-chilling experience of watching the guillotine in action?

Top image: Guillotine. Source: zef art / Adobe Stock.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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