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7 of our favourite Torture devices

  • Monday 2nd September 2019

The Torturer Chamber

Ah, so you want to learn all about torture devices? Well you’ve come to the right place. We have our very own Torturer at the York Dungeon and he’s told us all about some of his favourite instruments…

Pear of Anguish

One of the best! The Pear of Anguish is separated into metallic segments which expand when a screw is turned. Placing the device into the mouth of the traitor, and turning the screw will result in teeth shattering and the jaw breaking. There’s also another opening it can be placed into… but we will leave that one up to your imagination!

Tongue Tearer

Looking like a large pair of scissors, the Tongue Tearer is designed to cause a lot of pain in seconds. The devices use is fairly self-explanatory from its name; it was used to remove the tongue of the traitor with little effort. The iron Tongue Tearer was placed in hot flames to heat up before being clamped down on the tongue, which was then twisted three times before being yanked out! Ouch…


Ah, one of our very favourites! Thumbs, as well as fingers and toes, are placed into the device, with screws being tightened crushing and breaking bones. For those extra naughty criminals, the screws would have spikes attached to them to increase the level of pain.

The Hook

A metallic hook placed into the base of the neck. Traitors would then be hoisted off the ground with the hook sinking deeper into the flesh causing incredible pain. Just like the Pear of Anguish, this device was also used in another place… it’s best just to not think about it!

Chappy Chopper

We’ll give you a clue; you can only use this device on males. Enough said. crosses legs uncomfortably

The Rack

Is this list making you a bit queasy? Perhaps have a lie down, but maybe not on the rack! If you do, you’ll be tied down and stretched until your joints dislocate, and if we keep turning the rack your limbs may even tear off! Still wish you were a little bit taller?

Knee Splitter

The Knee Splitter comprised of about 20 spikes across two wooden blocks facing each other, connected via two large screws. The spikes were placed into the traitor’s flesh, and once embedded into the leg, the screws were tightened drawing the two wooden blocks (and the spikes) closer together, slowly crushing the knee. Lovely!

There you have it, 7 of our favourite torture devices, historically enjoyed by the likes of Guy Fawkes. Did you know you can learn more about some of the above devices at the York Dungeon with our Torturer?

Aren’t you glad it’s the 21st Century and these are no longer used?! We can however think of a few people who may deserve such tortures…