Ancient Torture Devices

Torture Devices have been used by nearly every country - and for some of the most bizarre reasons such as looking a certain way, having an opinion or even nagging your husband. We've come a long way from the Medieval Ages so here's a few torture devices you were lucky enough to miss out on.

Torture Device - Branks

Branks were popular during Medieval times and throughout the 1600s in America. Branks, also called Scold's Bridle, were metal face masks that some women were forced to wear. They looked like an iron cage. All a husband had to do was accuse his wife of nagging and the mask was put on. Women who disagreed with their husbands, who were found guilty of cruel gossip or of any other minor offense had to wear the Branks. The Branks usually had a tongue depressor with spurs or sharp edges. When this went into the woman's mouth it made talking painful. The mask was meant to humiliate the woman. Some of them had a chain attached to the front so the victim could be led through the streets or tied to a post.

Torture Device - Chastity Belt

Wives were often forced to wear chastity belts while their husband were away for a long time (especially the wives of knights or crusaders). It was usually a jealous husband, or sometimes a controlling dad, who made them wear the chastity belt. Chastity belts looked like metal underwear and were worn so wives couldn't have sex while their husbands were away. The reason they are torture devices is because they are humiliating and a lot of women were forced to wear one against their will. A few women did wear chastity belts on purpose, as protection against rape. They were commonly used during the Middle Ages when a husband might be at war for as long as three years.

Torture Method - Cleansing of the Soul

Catholics used to believe that the soul of a witch was corrupt, filthy and basically full of evil. So-called witches, usually women (anyone noticing a pattern here?), were treated cruelly and punished by the church. To cleanse them before punishment, the 'witches' were forced to undergo a cleansing of the soul. Scalding liquids or objects were shoved down the throat of a victim. This included boiling water, soap, coals and even fire brands. The threat or punishment of having your mouth washed out with soap by Mom or Dad comes from this form of torture.

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