Spanish Donkey torture technique was much worse way to die than it looks
| Last updated
There are times when you can feel pretty glad that we don't live in certain spots throughout history, even if lots of things which happened in the past would have been pretty cool to witness.
You can learn more about that one here:
Yes, it turns out we're quite the bunch of evil inventors when we really put our minds to it.
If you weren't being stuffed into a statue of a bull and set on fire then you might be 'broken' on a wheel, dunked in boiling water or perhaps just stuffed into a jail cell and forgotten about while you go mad from the one glimpse of light and scent of food allowed to you.
Among those tortures and torments is a technique known as the 'Spanish Donkey', and it's a truly horrendous way to die.
The Spanish Donkey was essentially a sawhorse with a triangle atop it, and the person in for a world of pain would be made to sit on it and wait for gravity and geometry to do their thing.
Stuck sitting on the narrow corner of a triangle, often made of metal, a person's own body weight would soon count against them.
Often times for victims of the Spanish Donkey that wouldn't be all they had to contend with, as they may have restraints or weights tied to their ankles in order to drag them down onto the thin edge even more.
How badly this torture technique affected a person depended on how long they were made to sit on it, with people suffering terrible pain on it sometimes becoming permanently disfigured by the torture.
If left on it long enough it even became a method of execution as a person could be killed from being left on the Spanish Donkey for long enough.
In theory a person could be cut completely in two if left on there for long enough, though they'd be dead long before being completely hacked in twain.
If a torturer was feeling particularly devilish they might decide to light a fire underneath the victim's feet to make them writhe and squirm atop the Spanish Donkey, which would only cause them further pain.
This torture device was even used by George Washington on his own soldiers to punish them for minor offences.
According to History Defined, Washington approved a punishment against a soldier who had been threatening people 'to ride the wooden horse, fifteen minutes'.
A 15 minute stint would have been painful but nowhere near the time it would take to do horrific damage to a person.
17th Century French settlers in Canada recorded using the Spanish Donkey with the intention of causing lasting damage, with an account saying a man was left on it until he was 'ruptured'.
Given which parts of him would have been in contact with the device we'll leave it up to your imagination to work out which parts of him they were talking about.