The electric chair. According to information on http://about.com
The electric chair is a quintessentially American invention. No less a figure than Thomas Edison petitioned for its first use.... Death row inmates in ten states may still choose the electric chair (and in recent years, two prisoners have--in 2004 and 2006, respectively). The prisoner is shaved, strapped to a chair, and fitted with electrodes attached to conductive sponges--one on the head, one on the leg--creating a direct current. The prisoner is then hooded. The executioner pulls a switch, and 2,000 volts race through the prisoner's body as the internal body temperature approaches 140 degrees. If performed correctly, the procedure is supposed to cause immediate unconsciousness followed by near-instantaneous death.The procedure...can burn conscious prisoners alive if performed incorrectly. Horrific accounts of botched electrocutions have essentially made the electric chair ... an option selected by prisoners who fear lethal injection or simply want a more distinctive exit.
According to the BBC, is a form of vigilante mob justice which became favored in the 1980s by South Africans over beating and stoning. The accused is restrained, while a rubber tire doused in gasoline is pushed down over his neck and shoulders, and then set alight, usually with a large crowd of people jeering and shouting. It is a highly effective form of causing death, although it is true that occasionally there are cases of mistaken identities.
Neclacing in South Africa - http://BBC.com
Death by 1000 cuts - read more about it on http://en.wikipedia.org. Slow slicing involves removing small pieces of flesh, bit by bit, piece by piece, over an extended period of time, with a sharp knife, with the intention of prolonging the torture. Medication might be administered to prevent the violator from fainting, thereby allowing them to experience the punishment to the fullest. Executions often drew large crowds, in the same way that drawing and quartering (a similar practice which was popular in the south) did, and very quickly became public entertainment.
Photos of a woman killed by this method around the turn of the 20th century
Taring and feathering- Although it was first used during the Crusades of the Middle Ages, this practice was imported to the New World by American Colonialists in the 16th century. It involves shaving the accused, and pouring boiling hot tar over their flesh, followed by a shower of feathers, which would coat the victim, making them look like a giant muppet. Tarring and feathering was rarely lethal, but it was certainly a pain in the ass to pick the tar off, and of course, the tar-ee would then be subjected to jeering, laughing, and further beatings while floundering around like a blind chicken.
More on the history of tarring and feathering
Ring fighting at the Coloseum- It is interesting to note that the Coloseum was one of the foremost "sports" arena of all time. "Sport" here, means a fight to the death, whether it be by gladiators (who, initially, were slaves trying to earn their freedom, and later on, were willing slaves in it for the glory), or whether it be the lowest of all forms of criminals who were thrown to wild beasts to the delight of tens of thousands of plebeians. What a delightful and creative method of justice from the behemoth of civilized culture which has given us some of the greatest punitive methods of all time, which included being thrown from the Tarpetian rock, being buried alive, being burned by red hot irons, and the method reserved for some of the most despised criminals: crucifiction. photo credit
The Iron Maiden- the most famous of which is located in Nuremberg, Germany, is a human shaped "cabinet" lined with sharp iron spikes. The victim would be placed inside, and when the cabinet was closed, the spikes would crush the victims eyes, chest and back, leaving them maimed and bleeding, but alive, so that they might be subject to further torture and interrogation. Other devices designed for crushing or damaging, and usually confined to use in the basement, include knee splitters, "inquisitional" chairs lined with spikes, revolving drums, and thumbscrews. I've been inspired to aquire one to keep in my basement, for those who are especially recalcitrant.
The dunking or "ducking" stool- yet another from the era which has left us a greater legacy of torture devices than all other times in history combined- the middle ages. This stool was especially and particularly designed for women, including obnoxious and annoying nags who disturbed the public peace (Gawd, I wish I had one of these for my mother,) women who cuckolded their husbands, and alleged witches. Nags and cuckolders might be tied to a commode for an extended time, and paraded around in public until everyone knew of their wrong-doings, while witches would be dunked while tied to an iron stool lifted by a wooden beam until they repented or died. In later days, a less cumbersome and more just way of ascertaining guilt would be undertaken by tying the witches right thumb to her left toe, and then fastening a rope around her waist before she was thrown in the water. If she floated, she was a witch, and would subsequently have to be burned at the stake. If she drowned, she was innocent. This must have been a very effective method of ascertaining guilt, since no one was ever found guilty. Read more about it here and here.
Scaphism- This is one of the most perverse and obscene methods that I have come across. Leave it to the ancient Persians, those sons of bitches! It apparently involved forcing the victim to drink large amounts of milk an honey, which would cause them to develop diarrhea. The accused was then restrained into a canoe, and left there naked to literally rot in their own excrement, while vultures and other scavenging birds would slowly pick away their increasingly lifeless flesh. Next time you tell someone to eat shit and die, remember the Ancient Persians.
Top ten most gruesome methods of execution of all time, including scaphism
To think, that I have spent a lifetime learning the trade of torture, focusing on consensuality and safety, only to find that no feat that I have accomplished could ever match the perversity, malice, and sociopathic tendencies of some random jack-asses off the street (or the subway). Eat it up you fucking pigs, like the snorting swine that you are.
For your further enjoyment, check out the following google book:
History of Torture Throughout the Ages