The Iron Maiden

This torture device has been branded, by some, as one of the most brutal in history. 
although within the pages herin at shadezofblack, you may draw a different conclusion.

The Iron Maiden, a device so fiendish it was once thought to be fictional.
Presumed torture and execution device, uniquely a Germanic invention, consisting of an iron cabinet with a hinged front and spike-covered interior, sufficiently tall to enclose a human being.

In one example, eight spikes protruded from one door, 13 from the other. Once the victim was inside, the doors were closed. There, the strategically placed spikes would pierce several vital organs. However, they were relatively short spikes, so the wounds wouldn't be instantly fatal.
Instead, the victim would linger and bleed to death over several hours, To add to the abject horror of it all, two spikes were positioned specifically to penetrate the eyes.

The device was so tortuous that initially it was considered to be a fictional device with no real existence.
but in the 1800s , a man called Matthew Peacock, collected paintings and torture devices. He wanted to prove how very much better the then-modern era was than the past. (It's tough to say why he tried so hard to prove it. Not too many people were arguing with him.)

The iron maiden, which he pieced together from pieces of memorabilia, was meant to "show the dark spirit of the Middle Ages in contrast to the progress of humanity." He gifted it to a museum, where it has been delighting and horrifying people ever since who believe it was used to torture people in the Middle Ages, even though it wasn't. 

Peacock wasn't entirely to blame. By the late 1800s, the idea of the iron maiden was firmly cemented in the mind of the public, due to tales from one man. Johann Siebenkees was a philosopher and archaeologist, and in 1793, he decided to perpetrate a little hoax. He wrote about a coin forger in the 1500s who suffered a terrible fate — being enclosed in a casket full of spikes that slowly impaled him. This particular story has been argued to be fictional.

Even he may not have come up with the idea on his own. It's worth noting that in many of the older fairy tales, it was a common fate of evil stepmothers to be sealed up in a cask which had nails driven into it. The cask was rolled down a hill into a lake. All Siebenkees did was take away the water.

In the 1800s, researchers found one in a castle in Nuremberg, Germany, and documented proof of its use later surfaced, For this reason, this device is sometimes known as the Iron Maiden of Nuremberg. Unfortunately it was destroyed in an Allied bombing in 1944.
Other names included The Virgin and, in German, Jungfer. A variation found in Spain was made to look like the Virgin Mary, and had machinery that, when manipulated, caused her to "hug" the victim close to her spikes.

The Chinese version is wholly different.  It did not have spikes but a grate at the feet.  From there, fire and water were combined to make steam into the chamber.  This would essentially boil the victim to death.

While it is disputed that the device was used during the medieval times, it is generally agreed that some variation of the device was used at some point in history.

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