We feel executing criminals by hanging is a heinous crime. I feel it’s better when we compare with the execution methods followed in the ancient times. People were tormented and killed in different methods to make people live with moral. The executions were so cruel and you can’t even imagine those things. Those victims are killed by different methods that’s what we are going to see. I am just going to list out few methods that I feel as most cruel, also all the methods is used to kill human beings who involve in criminal activities or held as captive. Crucifixion is the first term I read while going through the life history of Alexander the Great. He crucifix Pausanias of Orestis who killed his father Philip II Macedon. Let’s see this method of killing first.


This method of killing was prevalent during Roman empire day, but it got famous by Crucifix of Jesus Christ. They will be nailed to a long wooden cross, they will be left over there. People mostly survive after they got nailed to the wooden cross but they will die soon because of starvation and infection. This creates excruciating pain, humiliation, and severe trauma to the victim.

Crucifixion of Christ


This is more horrifying and terrific, people will survive here too but their body will be inserted with a sharp long wooden stick or Poles. If its vertical impalement they torture the victim by inserting the sharp long wooden pole through rectum or vagina ( See the pic). You can see this kind of execution in 300 Spartans movie. It’s not only people are impaled by vertical method, there are also different types of impalement used by many emperors. Out of all emperors there is one king who name after Impalement because he has killed around 40,000 to 1,00,000 people by impalement method. His name is Vlad III Dracula ( also called as Vlad the Impaler).

Vertical Impalement


A device made to behead the wrong doers, this was brought by 1789 and stopped by 1977. Guillotone is a device which has two long pole and on the top of these two poles a sharp broad knife will be attached. One end of the knife will be tied to a rope and the knife is free to fall if the rope is untied. The prisoner head will be place on a supporting wood where the knife will fall while releasing the rope. This was prevalent during French Revolution.


Breaking wheel:-

This has to come before Guillotine, once breaking wheel was banned by Louis XVI. Breaking wheel  is similar to crucifixion but the condemned will be mounted on the wheel and then the wheel will be revolved slowly. While the limbs of the condemned will be beaten by an iron sludge hammer. If they show mercy immediately they strike on the chest with the iron hammer.

Breaking Wheel

Here I got two different pictures where in the entire set up was different. Please see the picture below.

Breaking Wheel

Brazen bull:- 

It was created by Perillos and proposed it to Phalaris. Perillos made this with bronze, the criminals will be executed in this brazen bull. It has hollow part where criminals will be sent in then the bull will be set on fire. The criminal will not be released until the bronze metal becomes yellow hot. When criminal screams inside the horns will change that voice into angry bull sound.  Perillos became a victim for his own invention, he was put inside the brazen bull and fire was set in response to Phalaris order, but Perillos was released even before he die.

Perillos was forced into the Brazen bull


This was followed in many regions like Greek, Chinese and other parts in the east. Here they will not burn people on the whole, it was so systematic to torture the condemned. Initially the legs will get burnt followed by the torso, forearms, chest and head.

Burning of two Sodomites

Ling chi:-

This is followed in China, the condemned will be sliced slowly with a knife. At the end they will kill them by stabbing the chest or beheading them. Ling chi is also called as Slow slicing.

Ling chi


This was followed in Roman and in European countries. The condemned will be hung upside down and they will sawed from their groin till their head. Most most horrible way to kill a person.

Killing by Sawing

Hanging, Drawing and Quartering :-

There where different opinions about this killing method. As the name given above, the condemned will be Hung first, followed by drawing the dead body on the streets. Later, condemned body will be sliced into four parts and showcased in four different places of the city. Check this link to read more. http://despenser.blogspot.in/2008/07/hanging-drawing-and-quartering-anatomy.html

Hanging, Drawing and Quartering

There were many other methods like Boiling, Scalping, Flaying, Scapism, Necklacing,  and so on. I feel these are the most cruel killing methods. If you know any post it as a comment. Also click on the links that’s provided here to get more information.


In this method, victim’s body parts will be removed one by one normally they start from the abdomen. This was followed in Japan. Samurai who have done crimes will commit suicide by disembowelment.



This is followed in South Asia especially in India. Victims were crushed with the help of elephant. Elephants were also trained to kill the victim soon or to torture the victim by slowly killing them.

Execution by Crushing


Victims are boiled to death. It may be in boiled water or in oil. This was legally done in England by 1531 and later it was abolished in 1547.

Killing by Boiling