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The Rack Torture (Torture)


The rack is commonly considered the most painful form of medieval torture. It was a wooden frame usually above ground with two ropes fixed to the bottom and another two tied to a handle in the top.

The torturer turned the handle causing the ropes to pull the victim's arms. Eventually, the victim's bones were dislocated with a loud crack. If the torturer kept turning the handles, some of the limbs were torn apart, usually the arms.

This method was mostly used to extract confessions, as not confessing meant that the torturer could stretch more. Sometimes, torturers forced their victim to watch other people be tortured with this device to implant psychological fear.

Many knights from the Knights Templar were tortured with the rack. The limbs collected from this and other punishments of the time were "emptied by the hundreds".

Sometime this method was limited to dislocating a few bones, but the torturer often went too far and rendered the legs or arms (sometimes both) useless. In the late Middle Ages, some new variants of this instrument appeared. They often had spikes that penetrated the victim's back - as the limbs were pulled apart, so was his spinal cord increasing not only the physical pain, but the psychological one of being handicapped at best, too.


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