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  • You can only imagine what it would be like for a man sitting in a cold and damp medieval

  • dungeon waiting for the interrogation that is sure to come.

  • His brain races with images of limbs being stretched, of feet being dangled over flames,

  • so when a harmless goat is walked into his cell, he's somewhat taken aback.

  • His interrogators proceed to dip his feet in salty water, after which the grateful goat,

  • not one to turn away from a generous helping of saltwater, enthusiastically licks the man's

  • feet.

  • At first, it feels quite pleasant, but after a lot of vigorous licking, the feeling becomes

  • unbearable.

  • After an hour he's ready to tell the interrogators anything they want to know.

  • Did this really work, you might wonder?

  • Could it even lead to serious trauma?

  • All will be answered today.

  • It sounds pretty ridiculous, but tickle torture has been written about throughout the centuries.

  • That goat scene we just described was penned by an Italian jurist and monk named Franciscus

  • Brunus de San Severino.

  • It was part of a list of tortures he mentioned in the 1502 classic, “Tractatus de indiciis

  • et tortura.”

  • But did it really happen as he described?

  • That depends if you think the monk had a reason to make things up or someone was messing with

  • him and told him lies.

  • He also mentioned bloody kinds of tortures in that book, with tickle torture one of those

  • not supposed to cause the victim too much harm

  • Nonetheless, as you'll see later, maybe being incessantly tickled could do a fair

  • bit of damage.

  • In fact, some people have talked about the existence of what they calleddeath-inducing

  • tickling.”

  • First, let's go back to ancient history.

  • We can find some second-hand accounts of Chinese tickle torture.

  • It was said to be a thing during the Han Dynasty from 206-220 AD.

  • It's written about in a book called, “The A-Z of Punishment and Torture”, which explains

  • that Chinese nobility back then used it as a method to interrogate people without leaving

  • any marks.

  • Still, there's not much other evidence of it happening in China, so we should look elsewhere

  • for proof.

  • We know it almost certainly happened in Britain, although the tickling was just part of another

  • torture.

  • For centuries all over Britain when a person committed a misdemeanor crime the go-to punishment

  • was the stocks.

  • In fact, just about every town and village had some stocks for wrongdoers.

  • You can find them all over the place today, although they don't get used.

  • The stocks were usually in a place where lots of people met, like the market or the town

  • square.

  • While in the stocks, if the person had sufficiently annoyed the public, people would approach

  • them and do things such as cover them in rotten fruit or animal poop, or maybe they'd even

  • hit them with a stick.

  • But what the youngsters back then found quite amusing was going up to the victim and ticking

  • their feet.

  • Since there was no way out, you can only imagine how it would feel if the kids kept on ticking

  • for quite some time.

  • There's actually an article that was written in 1887 called, “England in Old Times.”

  • It described the good old days.

  • One part of it reads: “Gone, too, are the parish stocks, in which

  • offenders against public morality formerly sat imprisoned, with their legs held fast

  • beneath a heavy wooden yoke, while sundry small but fiendish boys improved the occasion

  • by deliberately pulling off their shoes and tickling the soles of their defenseless feet.”

  • In fact, it seems tickling folks in the stocks was quite common.

  • In 2016, a town councilor in England named David Bretherton made waves when he suggested

  • using the town's stocks again, although not for what you might think.

  • In an interview, he said, “Sometimes what they used to do was take off their shoe and

  • tickle them with a feather.

  • Perhaps for charity, we could do something like that, get people in the stocks and have

  • others donate money for the time they last while having their feet tickled.”

  • So yeah, it was done in the UK, but not for the life of us can we find a reported case

  • of death by tickling.

  • Still, there is no doubt a darker side to tickling.

  • It's reported that in ancient Japan there was a practice called, “kusuguri-zeme.”

  • This translates asmerciless tickling.”

  • Yet again, though, there's not much evidence other than one book which describes the act.

  • Still, there is plenty of evidence that suggests ticking could definitely be called merciless.

  • We know this in part because of a guy named Heinz Heger.

  • In 1940, he was sent to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp and was later transferred

  • to Flossenbürg concentration camp.

  • In 1945, American Troops liberated the camp.

  • Mr. Heger had kept a journal throughout his ordeal, with the last entry titled, “Amerikaner

  • gekommen.”

  • That meansAmerican's came.”

  • Those journal notes of his later became a book called, “The Men with the Pink Triangle.”

  • Pink was a reference to his and others' homosexuality.

  • In that book, he describes how Nazi soldiers would torture camp inmates by tickling them.

  • We'll let him describe in his own words what it was like just to prove to you that

  • being tickled against your will is not very nice at all.

  • This is what he wrote: “The first game that the SS sergeant and

  • his men played was to tickle their victim with goose feathers, on the soles of his feet,

  • between his legs, in the armpits, and on other parts of his naked body.

  • At first, the prisoner forced himself to keep silent, while his eyes twitched in fear and

  • torment from one SS man to the other.

  • Then he could not restrain himself and finally, he broke out in a high-pitched laughter that

  • very soon turned into a cry of pain, while the tears ran down his face, and his body

  • twisted against his chains.”

  • When the ordeal was over and the soldiers left the hut, Heger said the victim sobbed

  • for a while.

  • Then there was a book written by a professor in the US named Vernon Wiehe.

  • He investigated many of the terrible things that go on behind closed doors in families.

  • We've all been tickled by an older brother or cousin, and it's just been funny, but

  • at times people have taken tickling too far.

  • There's a point when tickling is far from friendly.

  • During his research, Wiehe discovered that tickling had indeed been a kind of torture

  • in many of his interviewee's lives.

  • It was reported that sometimes when it went on for too long, it led to the person losing

  • control of their bladder.

  • Others reported that they couldn't breathe, while Wiehe wrote that ticking could also

  • lead to loss of consciousness.

  • In 2013, German scientists wanted to know why tickling could be very unpleasant.

  • Using MRIs of a brain they discovered that tickling stimulated the same part of the brain

  • that goes off when a person thinks pain is on the way.

  • When you tickle yourself, your brain knows exactly what is coming, which is the reason

  • you can't tickle yourself like someone else can.

  • Imagine a small insect is crawling over you.

  • It tickles, and you brush it off.

  • That's a positive thing because some small insects can do nasty things to your body.

  • Your brain receives messages from your nerves and it's a good thing in evolutionary terms.

  • It's just not good when you have too much of this feeling.

  • It becomes an overload of sensations.

  • In fact, scientists have talked about two types of tickling.

  • One is knismesis and the other is gargalesis.

  • The former is the light tickling that may make you laugh, and the other is the heavier

  • kind of tickling which might make you hate your older sister for a few minutes.

  • It's this constant heavy tickling that becomes a kind of torture.

  • You only have to imagine what it would feel like if the tickler did it for a long time

  • and you had no option but to take it.

  • But we guess even the light kind of tickling would be terrible if someone had to endure

  • long periods of it.

  • There is a book by a Jesuit priest named Tomasz Rostworowski.

  • In it, he describes how communist Polish Security Forces after World War II used tickling when

  • they interrogated certain people.

  • Part of the text translated from Polish reads: “On the second floor of Barrack no X, through

  • the whole week (1-7 May 1951), almost constantly, day and night, a laughter of a tickle tortured

  • woman, who begged to stop tormenting her.”

  • Apparently, even the neighbors complained about the noise.

  • Then there was the story of a hospital attendant named Frank A. Sanders.

  • His story was reported by the New York Times on September 6, 1903.

  • It was said that while this guy worked at the Hudson River State Hospital he amused

  • himself by tickling the feet of a restrained patient.

  • Still, this is a far cry from death induced by tickling?

  • Does such a thing actually exist?

  • We found a parenting website that said, “There are documented cases in which unrelenting

  • tickling has resulted in death”, but no documented cases were provided by the writer

  • to back that up.

  • Of course, excessive tickling of someone who was already frail would be a very bad idea.

  • But death by tickling alone in a perfectly healthy adult?

  • We doubt it would happen.

  • People have in the past been reported as dying from laughter, but the strain on the body

  • and underlying symptoms no doubt played a part in the deaths.

  • Still, as you guys have seen today, tickling is no laughing matter when it's against

  • our will and goes on for too long.

  • Some people of course pay to have that done to themselves, but that's another story.

  • Now you need to watch, “How People Literally Laughed to Death.”

  • Or, have a look at, “Crazy Things A Doctor Removed From Inside Person's Body.”

You can only imagine what it would be like for a man sitting in a cold and damp medieval

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Tickle Torture - Worst Punishments in the History of Mankind

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    Summer posted on 2021/06/23
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