Spanish Inquisition was carried out under the order of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain in 1478. The purpose of the Inquisition was to squash any opposing religious factions, (first Judaism and later Islam) and establish complete domination of Catholicism. Jews were cast out (over 160,000), and converters were heavily scrutinized and accused of practicing their former faiths in secret.
People who were deemed heretics during the Spanish Inquisition were held prisoner in dark and poorly ventilated dungeons during tribunals throughout the country. These Inquisitors brutally tortured these inmates, both physically and mentally, to extract a confession.
The Spanish Inquisition torture methods were disturbing and some of the tools were very elaborate. Many times, the victim would die during the process. Inmates who were convicted on serious charges of heresy would have a public execution after an auto-de-fé (a public confession). Say what you will about the Inquisitors, they certainly knew how to get... creative.
The Judas cradle was a profoundly gruesome device. A naked victim was forced to sit on top of sharp-pointed pyramid seat. The pointy end would go into the anus or vagina of the victim.
Oh, it gets worse. The Inquisitors would then pull ropes attached the victim’s limbs to slowly force the point deeper into the person’s orifice. If this was kept up for several hours, the victim would end up impaled by the device.
The knee splitter was a terrifying device that resembled the gaping jaw of razor-toothed creature. It worked as a vice; the victim's leg would be placed in between the spikes of the device as it was compressed down onto the knee.
Although it was rare that this device resulted in death, it would render a victim’s legs useless. The device could also be used on other parts of the body as well, but legs were the preferred appendage.
The rack, also called the potro or escalera, is one of the most widely known torture method from the Spanish Inquisition. The victim was tied down to a plank of wood while a crank was turned, pulling all four limbs away from the body.
In one extreme case, a young man was being tortured on the rack and a fire was lit underneath him to add to his suffering. His limbs were pulled so hard that they were ripped from his body, and the deluge of blood put out the fire. Now that's pretty metal.
The Spanish Donkey
This headless, gut-ripping donkey was the worst ride in town. Deceptively innocent in appearance, the device was used throughout the Inquisition as a means of torture. Victims would be forced to sit on a wooden wedge, sometimes covered in spikes, with their feet left dangling on either end of the “saddle.” Sometimes, weights would be added to the victim’s feet. This device could then potentially cut a person down the middle.
Although the Spanish donkey is pretty gruesome, some people (weirdly) thought it was sexy. The BDSM subculture adopted a more mild variation of the device, using it as a restraint and spanking bench. The woman partaking in the play lays down on the "horse" face-forward with her arms and legs dangling below, exposing her rear.
The Spanish Tickler
It may sound like a cheeky sex toy, but the Spanish tickler provided nothing but pain for its victims. The device was also called a cat’s paw due to its shape, and the fact that it ended in four or five curved metal claws.
Sometimes the tickler would be at the end of a long pole to better reach to body of a victim suspended in the air or tied to a vertical rack. You know, for extra fun. The claws would tear through a victim’s flesh and could even break bones. The Inquisitors would begin “tickling” on the limbs, eventually moving to the torso to increase the level of pain.
The Water Cure
Everybody says that drinking lots of water is good for you. Well, remember that there can always be too much of a good thing. Drinking copious amounts of water in a short period of time can lead to a condition known as hyponatremia, or water intoxication. It causes a drastic drop in sodium levels in the blood, causing your cells to swell and leading to inflammation of the brain.
The water cure was first documented during the Spanish Inquisition. Victims of the water cure would be strapped down and have water funneled into their mouths, up to 30 pints in one sitting. God, just imagining that makes you desperately need to use the restroom.The water cure is different from water boarding, in that the victim is actually imbibing all that water instead of having it poured over their face.
was a very popular torture method during the Inquisition, primarily because it was so easy to do. It involved tying a person’s hands behind their backs and then suspending them by their wrists using a pulley system.
Oftentimes, the victims would have weights added to their feet to increase the level of pain and to guarantee dislocation of the extremities. Ouch.
Waterboarding (tormente de toca)
The Spanish Inquisitors called waterboarding “tormente de toca.” The “toca” referred to the piece of cloth that covered the victim’s face. The victim would be tied down on an inclined board and water would be poured over the cloth. This would make the suspected heretic feel as though they were drowning.
“The patient strangled and gasped and suffocated and, at intervals, the toca was withdrawn and he was adjured to tell the truth. The severity of the infliction was measured by the number of jars [of water] consumed, sometimes reaching to six or eight,” Henry Charles Lea wrote in A History of the Inquisition of Spain.
For the Spanish, waterboarding was basically dubbed, "oh, not so bad." They had other, much more twisted ways of making you talk.
The name of this torture device says it all. The victim’s head was placed in a vice. The top cap portion would go over the victim’s skull, and the victim’s chin was positioned on top of a metal bar. Then the inquisitor would tighten a screw at the top of the device, slowly crushing the skull. As the skull was compressed, the victim’s teeth would shatter. In extreme cases, their eyeballs would pop out of their skull. Luckily, this was often fatal. No one should have to live like that.
Burning At The Stake
This one is a two-for-one, as it was a method of both torture and execution for victims of the Spanish Inquisition. The Inquisitors seriously loved burning people at the stake. In Seville in 1483, 700 converted Jews were burned at the stake.
Between 1486-1492 in Toledo, 467 people were burned at the stake after their public confesstions. Nearly one hundred years later in 1560, an English merchant working in the south of Spain in Cadiz, named Nicholas Burton, was burned at the stake as well. As you can imagine, getting burned alive is awful. It has been said that the smell of burning flesh and hair is likely to suffocate you while your nerves are being seared to a crisp.
Since the entire Christian Inquisition began, two percent of the people who came before the tribunals were burned at the stake.
Estoy feliz de ser de ascendencia española