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torture

Chamber of torture devices and ancient punishments in Prague Castle

9 Methods of Ancient Punishment That’ll Make You Squirm

For as long as societies have had to deal with crime, they’ve had to deal out punishment. In some, places, and situations the process was only meant to humiliate the guilty, but most of the following...
Hecate: Procession to a Witches' Sabbath by Jusepe de Ribera  (1591–1652) (Public Domain)

The Fate of English Witches: From Water Torture to Divine Retribution

During the Early Modern period of European history – from the Renaissance (1500) to the French Revolution (1800), hundreds of thousands of witches suffered the terrible fate of being burned at the...
The Iron Maiden: This Medieval Torture Device Was Used as Recently as 2003!

The Iron Maiden: This Medieval Torture Device Was Used as Recently as 2003!

The iron maiden is a torture device widely believed to have been used in Europe during the Middle Ages. This notorious contraption is known by other names, such as the Virgin (a reference to the...
 A woman and children were found dead in a well near their home.

Ancient Superstitions Pervade India as Modern ‘Witch Hunt’ Leaves Mother and Children Dead

A shocking story from India is showing that in some areas of the world old superstitions are still alive and leading to terrible crimes. The belief in witchcraft is still common in many areas of...
Suspicious townfolk targeted Alice Kyteler.

Alice Kyteler: The Kilkenny ‘Witch’ Who Ran While her Servant Burned

Alice Kyteler (known also as the Kilkenny Witch ) was the first recorded person to have been condemned of witchcraft in Ireland. The alleged witch, however, succeeded in fleeing the country, thereby...
Comanche Feats of Horsemanship (1834-1835) by George Catlin.

Comanche Tribe History is One of Conquest

The history of the Native American Comanche tribe includes their move from ancestral homelands in Wyoming to more southerly parts and conquering new lands. They were then in turn conquered, after...
Chinese concubines

The Ming Dynasty Concubines: A Life of Abuse, Torture and Murder for Thousands of Women

The Chinese Ming Dynasty lasted for 276 years (1368 – 1644 AD), and has been described as “one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history.” This dynasty became a...
King Shapur of Persia Humiliating Emperor Valerian (Public Domain) Background: court of the emperor Valerian, painting circa 1450. (Public Domain); Deriv.  By Martini Fisher

What Really Happened to Valerian? Was the Roman Emperor Humiliated and Skinned at the Hands of the Enemy?

The death of Valerian is traditionally known as one of the most dramatic and unfortunate of all the deaths of the Roman emperors. The widely accepted story is that Valerian wanted to end the war with...
The Bull by Stuart Yeates.

Brazen Bull: Gruesome Ancient Greek Torture Device Turned Screams into ‘Music’

The Brazen Bull (known also as the ‘Bull of Phalaris’, the ‘Bronze Bull’ or the ‘Sicilian Bull’) was a type of ancient torture and execution device from ancient Greece. The story of the Brazen Bull...
Antique portrait of a woman, Austria

Bodies Left Behind - A Cruel History of Persecution, Shamanic Ecstasies & the True Witches Sabbath

‘The witches are carried sometimes in their bodies and clothes, at other times without, and the examiner thinks their bodies are sometimes left behind. Even when their spirits only are present, yet...
Figurines representing three of the ten judges of Diyu and Red Maw

Journey to Hell, Featuring Torture and Never-ending Bureaucracy: Understanding the Underworld in Chinese Mythology

“Each of the criminals is bound to an iron pillar and the ox-headed demon is in the process of administering punishment—using iron or copper blades he peels the skin of the person's face, just as a...
"Alchemist Sędziwój" by Jan Matejko: alchemist, and pioneer chemis.

Icelandic Magic, Witchcraft, and Sorcery and the Tragic Case of Jón Rögnvaldsson

Traditions relating to the dark and fascinating practices of witchcraft in Iceland are as old as the first human settlements on the island. Countless people paid for these practices with their lives...
No Gossiping, Gluttony, Lying, or Eavesdropping! European Metal Masks Would Shame You into Good Behavior

No Gossiping, Gluttony, Lying, or Eavesdropping! European Metal Masks Would Shame You into Good Behavior

Shame masks were a type of embarrassing punishment device used in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries. As its name suggests, the shame mask was meant to humiliate the person who was forced to...
Contemporary illustration of the Auto-da-fe held at Valladolid Spain 21-05-1559

Why Did the Spanish Inquisition Allow Some Witches to Stay Alive?

The Spanish Inquisition has a reputation for having been very bloody and cruel. However, in some regions of Spain their actions were barely visible and were focused on heretics but not witches. Most...
The Inquisition

The Spanish Inquisition: the Truth behind the Black Legend (Part II)

The Spanish Inquisition was not only a controversial organization, but also little understood by the general public. It was an institution that is haunted by a dark legend and, as you know, legends...
The haunting beauty of the deep labyrinth of Buda

Mysterious Labyrinth of Buda: Enigmatic Ancient Caves beneath Castle Suddenly and Inexplicably Evacuated by Police

Deep under the imposing stone walls of a 13 th century palace, the Labyrinth of Buda contains, in its twisting paths and pitch-black corridors, the dark history of the ancient castle district of...

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