Throughout time, there have been many hundreds of different types of torture, from the complex
rack- a device used for stretching
- to the simple bullwhip, from the expensive boiling to the cheap thumbscrews. Many are used to cause pain without injury
, though most types of torture also cause damage to the body.
There are hundreds of devices used, from those specially made to cause an agonizing and horrific death such as crucifixion, to those for mutilation like eye-gouges and a simple hammer, to those for information extraction like piling rocks. Below is a list of some common techniques and tools.
the most crude technique: Merely beat the victim into submission with feet and hands, with a bar or bat. The most common form of torture and probably (but not certainly) the least effective, and certainly the cheapest.
The victim is bound and made to lie while massive, flat rocks are piled on him until he either loses consciousness, cannot breath, or gives in. Quite cheap, uses gravity for its effect, and extremely simple to use.
A simple technique where the victim's nose and mouth are dunked underwater and he is drowned. While the first dunk will be short, each successive dunk will be longer until the victim loses consciousness (when they may be revived or left to drown) or agrees to talk.
A mixture of drowning and burning, boiling a victim could be done in many ways. From simply thrusting underwater and heating until the victim gives in in the aforementioned, to heating water and repeatedly placing parts of the victim's anatomy underneath the water/pouring it on him until he agrees to talk. This is a horrific method with an incredibly high chance of scarring.
This could be done in many creative ways, from branding with a poker or such to setting light to a victim or tying to some burning object. While most of the time scalding tongs were used, it was not unknown to leave a victim in a hot area to burn until they decided to talk. Much like boiling, it was merely a matter of finding a way to apply heat to the victim.
Any whip was a deadly effective torture device; while the cuts and weals from a whip will rarely if ever kill, they will continue to sting for hours afterwards and also hurt more than a stab to the area*.
Scars from whips are common and heal quickly for what they are, but will be painful and a reminder to the victim for years afterwards.
Salt dries out most things very effectively, including people and gaping holes in them. It also stings as bad as vinegar when put into the aforementioned, and though not scaring, a dose in the eye can have a victim squealing in seconds.
Simply, one would cut the victim to bleed him. When he decided he had bled enough- fresh cuts and water would help restore the flow- he could be allowed to heal. This technique often led to infection or over-blood loss and commonly death.
A combination of bleeding and cutting, one would use a blade to repeatedly cut in the more meaty areas of victim, letting wounds heal naturally. The victim would either give in, faint or die normally, and this very crude method often resulted in death anyway.
More advanced than cutting, mutilation targets specific areas such as eyes and arms, hands and feet, fingers and faces. This way ALWAYS scars, and this is the aim; it's also very effective, if not as painful as some of the other techniques. The thought of losing an eye is still often enough to get a victim to give in before any damage is actually caused, but mutilation is a horrible torture that is normally permanent.
Using a hammer or such, a victim could have bones broken until he decided to talk. While scarring and bleeding come often with this, it's nonetheless effective and very painful; it also has long-lasting pain, much like the whip, and will take a long time to heal.
Placing a victim's sensitive areas in any kind of vice... and pressing. Thumbscrews are a typical type of vice, causing internal injury and external injury very quickly; a vice would normally be something as simple as those used in woodwork.
Not necessarily in a sexual connotation, penetrating into the victim is an effective, if messy and often scarring, event. Similar to cutting in many ways, a dagger can be used to push into the victim's skin; however, penetration in this case is normally is defined as entering an orifice that is already there, and therefore often is sexual. A nail through a hand is also applicable.
A technique that requires often little effort but more foreplanning, deprivation- be it sleep, oxygen, or food and water- is one for the more squeamish torturer. It features no blood loss or cutting in any way, but those deprived tend to die quite quickly. Food and water is a matter of taking it in, so it is easy to deprive a victim this way, while sleep Deprivation is often very hard due to the body naturally falling unconscious. Oxygen Deprivation can be done as easily as with a belt around the neck and a victim tortured thus will show few scars (if they survive) and can be easily given air.
Not physically damaging normally, Psychological torture works not in actual harm but showing intent to harm. While on some it will be horribly effective, letting them talk in seconds, others are totally immune to this; they are often also resistant to other forms of torture; however, if torture is threatened against another and not the victim, it is occasionally more effective (if not always).
The victim is placed on a large bed of wood, stone or metal with winches attached to the bottom. These are attached to the legs via chains and manacles and the arms are locked in place in similar style, and the victim is very slowly stretched until he gives in or falls unconscious. Scars are common, bleeding notso.
Like Mutilation, Surgery is cutting into the victim... not necessary to cause permanent harm, but it's really quite startling how quickly a victim will come along when you can show him his small intestine! Anaesthetic can be used, where this becomes mainly psychological, or one can not use it and let the victim *savour* the scalpel. Scalpels are the most commonly used for this.
Needlepoint is, IMHO, the most effective torture. With a little knowledge of anatomy and some knowledge of the pressure points, one can quite easily push a few six-inch needles into a victim and get him talking in moments. Popular areas are the eyes, lips and stomach, especially the navel, and the genitals. It rarely leaves scarring- depends on the quality of needles- but the pain is incredible.
A victim can be constrained to a post or suchlike and left out in the weather, in the cold or in the heat for a long time until he agrees to either 1) die or 2) submit. This takes very little effort and is effectively depriving sleep, food, water and movement, in addition adding the effects of wind and rain on the victim.
By putting a couple of these over the victim's thumbs and tightening the screws, eventually the victim's thumbs will break, but not before some horrible pain along the way. Effective and simple, it's good to start off small.
Not really a torture device but more for execution, the Iron Maiden could be used most effectively psychologically. The door was held and pushed in slowly until the victim changed his mind or suddenly found several blades in him, two especially placed over the eyes.
Really another execution device, a victim could be taken down after he decided he'd had enough of the weight of his own head crushing his ribs in and of the sleep and nourishment deprivation he was taking.
There are many more methods of torture known, though most of these are truly execution methods. If you think of any more common ones, /msg me and I will add them.
Electrocution - pm CB
Similar to- but not the same as- burning, Electrocution is merely trying to link a strong electrical charge to the victim in question. A horrible form of torture, perfected only recently (with the advent of electricity and the cattle prod), Electrocution leaves little visible scarring but can cause incredible pain and internal damage.
While deprivation of movement is effective torture, it is even more effective while a victim is suspended. The Germans and Danish thought of many creative- if overly so- ways of suspending a victim in the middle-ages, and all rely on the victim's body weight for maximum discomfort. Crucifixion falls under this category, but few of these are as lethal as that.
Another interesting technique, similar to cutting, is flaying the skin from the victim. An incredibly painful- and often scarring- technique, flaying is most often combined with other, less subtle techniques to cause maximum pain in the victim. Agonisingly painful and reveals the veins and muscles to the air, being quite, quite painful; while a knife or scalpel is bad enough here, something like sand-paper rubbing the skin raw is even more horrific.
Very similar to burning, this time with acids and alkaline. Either of these substances will make quite a mutilated mess of any body-part, and the pain from either is incredible- even a droplet of acid stings like anything if it's concentrated enough. Areas such as the eyes are particularly nasty targets for these, due to the poor resistance to either of these chemical-types there. Even a "weak" acid like vinegar is horrid in the eyes, and on raw skin (from rubbing, wetness, or flaying) the pain is quite terrible.
Salt - Additional information
Salt is neither acidic nor alkaline, but like dissolving above it feels like internal fire. In the eyes and in wounds, the screaming just a little table-salt can cause is quite incredible. While it leaves little scarring and has little chance of fatality, other techniques are needed to make the area sensitive; fortunately, many animals like salt, leading us on to...
Consumption - CJ A2K
Normally left to animals, Consumption of a victim is first inexacting, second painful, and third as bad psychologically as physically. Like all mutilation, it causes scarring physically, and the effect of seeing a finger disappearing down something/someone's maw is quite terrible. In addition, the intimidation factor of charring at someone's flesh is horrible, whether the main victim of the torture or not. Be warned, consuming human flesh is often not healthy; it can drive a tamed animal wild, and often carries all the diseases that the victim has.
The easiest form of deprivation, suffocation is sometimes harder than drowning, and often slightly less effective. Using something as simple as a garrotte, belt, or piece of rope, suffocation is easy if risky; brain damage can set in more quickly than thought of, and all the risks of drowning are there, including the risk of crushing a victim's windpipe and having him die on you, often undesirable. Most easily done by wrapping the garrotte around a victim's neck and pulling it tight; as the victim struggles, let it lax for him to breath. Repeat until unconsciousness, death, or until he breaks.
Be careful of your garrotte choice; there are razor-wire garrottes out there, favoured by assassins as a quick form of decapitation!
Much like suffocation or drowning, but constriction does not cut off oxygen all over the body; it merely cuts it off to one limb. The limb can often die, and the pain in this is quite terrible, aswell as the psychological effects- "I'm going to lose an arm if he doesn't stop this". The arms, especially, when targeted like this feel as if they will explode, and external damage is often not as bad as internal damage. Limbs are easily lost in this way, but it does take a relatively long time before tissue death.