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The ladder method


AnjelWolf

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Back in history, when it was a common practice to torture witches, one of the most common methods was that of the ?Ladder?. It was most common throughout France and Germany.

 

This consisted of placing the accused horizontally on their backs, flat on what is known as ?echelle? (ladder/rack, also referred to as ?le grand tresteau?). Sometimes, (if the ladder was not available), they would be placed on the ground, between two fixed posts.

 

Each of their hands and feet were attached to each side of the ladder, with a form of a tourniquet. The accused would be attached to the two uprights of the ladder by very thin ropes, from his shoulder to his toes. The ropes would be wrapped around their wrists and ankles and tiny sticks would be inserted in between the wraps to twist during questioning.

 

As questioning proceeded, the tourniquet would be contracted tighter and tighter (to ensure obtaining the truth), thus thrusting the accused suspended in the air, inflicting intense pain (a more severe form of the ladder involved ?tortillons? (twistings) of the ropes).

 

It is said that as the questioning continued, the ropes would be tightened and/or twisted, thus forcing the knots deeply into the flesh of the accused.

 

This is also (normally) the first line of torture the accused would have to endure.

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It never fails to amaze me how mankind could come up with so many horrible yet creative ways to torture their fellow man -and woman. The ladder sounds gentle compared to most (like you said, first line of torture)

 

There was a show on cable TV recently, I forgot the name now.. but it was like a torture version of Mythbusters, where these teams of builders and techs would reconstruct the various torture devices from history, such as the Pear of Anguish, or even simply enough, the rope torture, and test them out - usually on dummies, of course, but they tried some short human trials too.

 

The rope was used by Huguenots in their persecution of Catholics, and was common because of how easy and cheap it is to use: a thick, fibrous rope would pulled taught, horizontally, between two points about 10 feet apart. Then about 6 men, 3 on each side, would take the victim, tear his clothes off, and lay him on top the rope, and proceed to simply slide him back and forth several feet, repeatedly, letting his body weight do the damage. In no time, the rope would tear away at the flesh, and cause deep, painful wounds.

Arggh.. ouch.

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Guest Landieth

I think the most horrible torture method was a medieval way to 'get the truth'. There's a pyramid looking thing with a pointy top, and they sit the accused on the top of the pyramid and keep lowering them until they confess.

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It never fails to amaze me how mankind could come up with so many horrible yet creative ways to torture their fellow man -and woman. The ladder sounds gentle compared to most (like you said, first line of torture)

 

There was a show on cable TV recently, I forgot the name now.. but it was like a torture version of Mythbusters, where these teams of builders and techs would reconstruct the various torture devices from history, such as the Pear of Anguish, or even simply enough, the rope torture, and test them out - usually on dummies, of course, but they tried some short human trials too.

 

The rope was used by Huguenots in their persecution of Catholics, and was common because of how easy and cheap it is to use: a thick, fibrous rope would pulled taught, horizontally, between two points about 10 feet apart. Then about 6 men, 3 on each side, would take the victim, tear his clothes off, and lay him on top the rope, and proceed to simply slide him back and forth several feet, repeatedly, letting his body weight do the damage. In no time, the rope would tear away at the flesh, and cause deep, painful wounds.

Arggh.. ouch.

 

 

 

 

Yup plus also if memory serves me correctly didn't William Wallace have this form of torture as well???

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I think the most horrible torture method was a medieval way to 'get the truth'. There's a pyramid looking thing with a pointy top, and they sit the accused on the top of the pyramid and keep lowering them until they confess.

 

Dunno if that's the worst Land but they had that one on this show I mentioned too! Darn, now I gotta find out what that show was called and what channel .. I wonder if Comcast has a "torture channel", lol.

 

If you want a see a nasty torture gizmo, look up the "Pear of Anguish".

Naturally, there's lots of grisly websites out there on torture devices, just google on the phrase.

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There was a show on cable TV recently, I forgot the name now.. but it was like a torture version of Mythbusters, where these teams of builders and techs would reconstruct the various torture devices from history, such as the Pear of Anguish, or even simply enough, the rope torture, and test them out - usually on dummies, of course, but they tried some short human trials too.

 

I believe the show you are referring to is 'Surviving History' on the History Channel

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Guest Landieth
I believe the show you are referring to is 'Surviving History' on the History Channel

 

Heh, interesting name for a show about torture.

 

Dunno if I'd want to survive if I just got stirruped and scoped with ass tearing impliments of horror.

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I don't think it was meant to be about the people surviving, but rather the devices they are testing surviving the test of time. After being used hundreds of years ago, their design is just as effective today as it was then. Which is a scary thought.

 

In the shows they would use, at times, only historical reference and paintings to build these devices. Sometimes they were graced with blueprints, or as close to blueprints they could get, to aid them in their construction. For the most part though they were pretty short stacked, which makes it even scarier.

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Guest Landieth
I don't think it was meant to be about the people surviving, but rather the devices they are testing surviving the test of time. After being used hundreds of years ago, their design is just as effective today as it was then. Which is a scary thought.

 

In the shows they would use, at times, only historical reference and paintings to build these devices. Sometimes they were graced with blueprints, or as close to blueprints they could get, to aid them in their construction. For the most part though they were pretty short stacked, which makes it even scarier.

 

Lol I was being sarcastic. :D

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Hmm... I think you're right Anthony, that sounds familiar. Man, what a job assignment! It numbs my mind to think that people actually sat around and thought these these things up, with the emphasis on being nasty, not humane. Supposedly the point of torture was to extract confessions, not punish, right? (yeah right! lol)

And nobody ever realized that confessions extracted under torture are about worthless?

Now, I don't feel particularly bad for the relatively few scum being held down at Git Mo, but I have to wonder how accurate their information is if it's gotten by waterboarding.

If I had to get confessions out of people, I'd rather give them drugs - something like a "super Ecstasy" (MDMA) that made them so damn happy, they'd gladly spill the real beans to their enemy because now he was their "friend". That'd be more reliable info, IMO, as long as it didn't interfere with memory. Maybe a combo of MDMA and sodium pentothal would do the trick.

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ick, terrible, terrible things to just get 'confessions' out of innocent people and they called themselves civilised - ha!

 

Also you have to imagine being in this torture. You would confess to anything just to get rid of the torture.

 

Hence many of these statements might have actually been forced and/or fasl just to get out of the torture.

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