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10 Terrifying Modern Day Torture Methods

Modern Torture Methods Strappado

Torture is used to gain information or to instill fear or discipline. While medieval and ancient history methods may have been more brutal, these modern day tactics are absolutely terrifying. In no particular order, these are 10 terrifying modern day torture methods.

Cement Shoes are a Brutal Torture Method 

Cement shoes are a usually associated with criminals such as the Mafia or gangs. The perpetrator weighs down the victim with concrete and throws them into the water. In the US, the term has become tongue-in-cheek for a threat of death by criminals.

cement shoes torture method

The Tucker Telephone Is a Truly Frightful Torture Method 

Originating at Arkansas’ Tucker State Prison Farm in the 1960s, the Tucker Telephone is a torture device constructed from an old-fashioned crank shaft telephone. Used on the unrulier prisoners, the telephone produces electricity when cranked. The ground wire connects to the prisoner’s toe, while the hot end of the wire connects to their genitals. Prison staff would then crank the phone generator. This sends electrical currents shooting through the inmate’s body. The U.S. Government banned the Tucker telephone in the 1970s.

tucker phone torture method The Cat O’nine Tails Is an Especially Nasty Torture Implement 

The cat o’ nine tails, commonly shortened to the cat, is still used all over the world. The user of a cat o’ nine tails flogs the subject with tails of barbed wire. The device is a multi-tailed whip. Its “claws” can inflict vicious parallel wounds. The phrase “letting the cat of the bag” gets its origins from pulling the cat o’ nine tails out of its bag before whipping someone.

cat o nine tails torture

The Tiger Bench is an Excruciating Torture Method 

China really hates the practitioners of Falun Gong, a sort of spiritual discipline first introduced in 1992. One torture method used by Falun Gong practitioners is the tiger bench. The torturer places the victim on a bench with a board against their back and head. The perpetrators typically use several leather straps to bind the victim’s legs tightly to the tiger bench and gradually lift the ankles. This goes on until the knees give way and snap, leaving the person disabled for life.

tiger bench torture

Waterboarding Is a Horrific Modern Torture Method 

Waterboarding is a simple, yet effective, form of torture. The perpetrator ties their victim to a table with their legs elevated and a cloth covering their face. The torturer pours water over the cloth for up to a 60 seconds at a time with the person allowed only brief breaks for breathing. This method causes the sensation of suffocation and a mimics the effects of drowning.

water boarding

Hell Confinement Is a Nightmare of Immobility  

Also known as “death board”, hell confinement involves a pair of handcuffs and a pair of foot shackles. They are linked by an iron rod, or thick wooden plank, preventing the victim from bending their back. Such instruments make it very difficult for victims to walk, sit down, use the toilet, or feed themselves.

death bed

Strappado Is an Excruciating Exercise in Agony  

The strappado was popular during the Renaissance, but perpetrators of torture have used it within the last century. Many people now know it as Palestinian hanging. The person conducting the torture ties the victims hands behind their back and then suspends them from a bar for hours at a time, wrenching their arms from the shoulder sockets by the weight of the body. One of the last known cases of the United States using this form of torture is on Manadel al-Jamadi in 2003. Police arrested him for alleged involvement in the manufacturing of explosives. Authorities sent him to Abu Ghraib, where died while being tortured.

strappado torture

Cold Cell is a Terrifying Tactic Employed by the CIA

The federal government allows the CIA is to use six interrogation techniques. One of them is the cold cell. An “enhanced interrogation technique” where the conductor places the prisoner in front of an air conditioner unit for hours, days, and even years at a time. Vhuen Van Tai was the highest-ranking Viet Cong officer captured during the Vietnam War. The CIA placed him in a tiny, white, windowless room and turned the AC on full blast for four straight years.

cia torture method

White Torture Is a Sinister Form of Sensory Deprivation 

A form of emotional and psychological torture, white torture might be one of the worst. The victim is placed into a room that is completely white. Victims wear white, and meals are white rice on white paper plates. Moreover, victims are not allowed to speak. Sensory deprivation causes hallucination and may eventually induce madness.


The German Chair Is a Contorted, Torturous Nightmare 

The German chair is also known as the flying carpet, or simply the tyre. The perpetrator ties the prisoner to a metal chair  to contort the body into unbendable positions. This causes severe stress to the detainee’s back, neck, and spine It often causes permanent damage to the body.

german chair torture method

Updated May 23, 2024

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Written by Nicola Odeku
Nicola Odeku is the co-founder of Wicked Horror. After managing a fashion and lifestyle magazine, in addition to writing her own published relationship articles, Nicola set up team with Arturo and followed her genuine love for horror. Also known as Miss Horror, Nicola is a big fan of hardcore gore, anything demonic, and disturbing cinema. Also cats. She looooves cats. Nicola enjoys traveling, sitting on a beach and eating cake.
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