Boiling, Ling Chi, Chariot-tearing, Castration, the list goes on… Ancient Chinese were pretty creative at torture prisoners. Here are some kinds of Chinese punishment that are considered most cruel.
1. Flaying (剥皮)
Brutal to the bone, it involved removing the skin from the body of a still living prisoner.The victim was flayed alive as part of a public execution, after which the skin was nailed to the wall as a warning, so that others would heed the lesson and never ever dare to defy the law. Flaying was used by Sun Hao, Fu Sheng, and Gao Heng.
2. Waist Chopping (腰 斩)
This means cutting a person’s body into half by chopping the waist. Because human major organs are on the upper half of the body, the prisoner will not die immediately after chopping and will still be alive for some time before death.
3. Ling Chi (凌 迟)
Ling Chi – execution by slow cutting – was practiced in China until it was outlawed in 1905. In the execution, the criminal is slowly cut in the arms, legs, and chest, until finally they are beheaded or stabbed in the heart.
4. Chariot-tearing (车裂 )
Simply tie each rope onto the head, the two hands, and two legs of the prisoner. Then connect 5 ropes to 5 horses or chariots respectively. Allow 5 horses to gallop away in 5 different directions, and thereby tearing a person’s body into 6 parts.
5. Five Cutting (俱五刑)
This means cutting away the head, feet, hands, ears as well as gorge out the eyes. Empress Lü Zhi in Han Dynasty had Concubine Qi`s limbs chopped off, eyes gouged out, ears sliced off, forced her to drink a potion that made her mute, and thrown into a latrine. She called Qi a “human swine”.
6. Hanging ( 缢 首)
Ancient Chinese use the bowstring to carry out death penalty …… the bow is put around prisoner`s neck with the bowstring facing forward, the executioner then begins to rotate the bow in the back until the criminal dies.
7. Boiling (烹煮)
The executioner put prisoner in a big pot filled with water and then light a fire below to heat the water up. As the water temperature rises, the prisoner will be boiled to death. There are many early woodcut drawings of prisoners meeting their end in pots of boiling water according to ancient Chinese accounts
8. Castration (宫 刑)
What’s castration? Castration is an operation to remove man`s genitalia (penis and testicles). In ancient China, castration was a traditional punishment , for instance, for prisoners of war or traitors. Even high-ranking officials could face the fate.
9. Chinese Bamboo Torture
10. The Nine Familial Exterminations (株连九族)
It was the most serious punishment for a capital offense in Ancient China.Typically associated with offenses such as treason, the punishment involved the execution of all relatives of an individual, which were categorized into nine groups.