Humans have always found fascinating ways to hurt each other, and at a certain point in time, it seemed that finding the most terrifying and horrible way to inflict pain and horror was the way to go. That is definitely how the rat torture method came about.
Granted, people have died in pretty horrible ways at each other's hands, but rat torture may be the worst of the worst. Since long ago, animals have been involved in causing pain and suffering, including training elephants to trample people to death.
This goes to show just how wicked people can get. While other animals often kill because they are hungry, afraid, or threatened, humans can kill simply out of spite or due to differences in opinion.
How The Rat Torture Method Was Used
The rat torture method was first used in the seventeenth century in Europe against witches, villains, transgressors, and other criminals. Rat torture, unlike other forms of punishment, does not involve any artificial devices at all. All it takes to inflict rat torture is a rat and a cage.
To most people, rats are repulsive and scary.
These rodents can also chew through anything that stands in their way, including human flesh. This latter aspect gave some people the idea of turning rats into instruments of torture and murder.
Generally, the torture method was quite simple. All the person doing the torturing had to do was place the rat inside a half-cage on top of the bare abdomen of the restrained victim.
From there, the cage was gradually heated using a candle, hot coals, or a flaming stick.
The rat would not be happy about this as the heat would be unbearable. Agitated, it would be desperate to find a way out.
Biting through the rigid metal cage would certainly not be an option. So, the only alternative would be to burrow through the person's stomach as it would be the superior soft surface available. Since rats are equipped with sharp teeth and claws, this would be easy.
However, the experience would be painful and terrifying for the poor victim as the rat tore through the intestines and internal organs. The poor victim would be screaming ferociously as this happened due to the intense and relentless pain the rat caused.
Eventually, the rat would cause so much suffering and physical damage that the person would die a slow and agonizing death.
How The Rat Torture Method Came About
The rat torture method was first used in the seventeenth century. This was during the Dutch Revolt.
Diederik Sonay, the Dutch leader, was famous for favoring this method of torture.
The cage trick improved the original version of this torture, whereby a bucket was used.
A bucket with starved rats was tied next to the person's belly and then heated. The inside of the bucket would become incredibly hot, and the rat would have to dig through the victim's belly to escape the pain and discomfort.
During Medieval times, Germans stopped using the bucket and upgraded to a metal cage with heated charcoal.
Often, the terror the rats caused was considered more important than the actual physical harm they caused. The idea of being eaten alive by rats or having them burrow into the body can cause enough terror to make someone learn their lesson.
Unfortunately, some torturers liked to cause both psychological and physical torture for maximum effect. In this manner, these sadists made their victim's worst nightmares come true.
Other Ways Rats Were Used In Torture
Putting rats in uncomfortable cages was not the only way these rodents could be used to make life hell for certain unfortunate people.
There was also another rat torture method known as the "rat chair." The technique started in Medieval Germany.
The victim was tied to a chair and a metal cage put on the person's face. Starving rats were then put in the cage, and they would start eating the person's nose, ears, and face.
The rats were allowed to live and eat the person's face while locked in the cage until the person passed away.
The Germans also came up with a method of cutting holes into the person's stomach and stuffing the rats inside.
The Romans had a similar technique that involved tying a person down and opening up their guts. The rats would be allowed to eat the guts. However, this method was ineffective as the rats also liked to eat the ropes used to tie down the victims, setting them free.
There were other ways these common rodents were used to torture people.
For instance, the Tower of London featured a room called "Rats Dungeon," dark and flooded. Rats would float into the dungeon and nibble on the prisoners tied up there.
In fact, the most popular way of torturing people with rats was to lock them in a room full of them. The room was designed to ensure that the prisoner would be in the way of these ruthless rodents.
Therefore, these rooms were typically small, and that meant the rats would end up gnawing at the person's limps.
How The Rat Torture Method Was "Perfected"
Believe it or not, the rat torture method was still used towards the twenty-first century by Augusto Pinochet, the Chilean dictator. He used the technique against political enemies during his reign.
The torture technique is said to have been perfected during this time in history.
Apparently, some people in Pinochet's military found a way to use a telescopic tube to direct the rat inside the prisoner's body through the rectum or the vagina. This was considered the "perfect" of the rat torture method.
However, there are not many documented cases of rats being used to torture people. That might be due to the fact that the torture method seemed so evil that not even the most enthusiastic sadists were willing to use this technique on their victims.
The rat torture method was slow, painful, and terrifying, which is also why it was also considered a great way to get important information from prisoners. This method proved to be quite effective at encouraging captors to divulge valuable information.
Today, the method is rightly considered a form of animal torture. The poor rats have to be starved first to encourage them to burrow through their victims, and they also have to be exposed to unbearable conditions to motivate them to dig through human guts filled with human waste.
Rat Torture Methods As Seen On The Big Screen
The rat torture method was featured in 2 Fast 2 Furious and the incredibly famous series, Game of Thrones.
In Game of Thrones, a bucket is used during the torture, and it is heated until the rat starts eating into the victim. A flame is used to heat up the bucket and force the rat to eat into the man's belly.
A short film called Rat In A Can also features the rat torture method.
In this film, the rat was confined in a can, heated with a lighter to force the rat into burrowing into the man's belly. In this film, the torturer takes the can off the man's stomach just when the rat's head is completely buried into the victim's body. This scene is not for the faint of heart.