Sorry – this one is a bit ghoulish.

Commonly used in the interrogation of witches, thumbscrews inflicted agonising pain to gain confessions and valuable information. This device, from Aberdeenshire, works by inserting the prisoner’s fingers and toes in between the iron bars. With each unsatisfactory answer, the screw would be tightened, gradually crushing the suspect’s bones.


© University of Aberdeen Museums and Special Collections

Museum reference


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