A most popular and effective device for many prisons is the Torture Chair. While it has always seemed to me to be an excess in expense and too elaborate and unwieldy, it has been adopted by so many that I could not fail to use it when available.
The chair for most is a place of rest, a device for supporting us when we tire and wish no longer to stand. For the victims in prison, the torture chair is in no way a rest, but a device designed for long periods of agonizing interrogation. Designed to assure both immobility and discomfort at all times, the chair has inflicted many horrible hours of agony on many victims.
I must make it clear, the torture chair is not an effective means of interrogation by itself. The level of discomfort applied to the victim, while severe, is frequently insufficient by itself. Thus, the chair must be viewed as a supplement, a restraint device used to increase pain and restrain the victim while other forms of torture are applied.
In one case, the use of the chair failed to bring about a direct confession or repentance. This was a most disappointing experience, and one that I hesitate to relate. But it is important that the use of the chair be documented, as well as the knowledge that not all interrogations are completely successful. Some heathens, apostate witches, and vile heretics are so completely dedicated to their evil that no confession can be wrung out of their wretched bodies.
One such case occurred in Marseilles, where two women were accused of being part of a coven of Satan worshipers, engaging in orgies of debauchery amongst themselves and with demons. This activity had been discovered by the husband of one of the women, who had found his wife in the arms of the other woman, in the middle of an act of sexual congress. The two were brought in to be interrogated to determine the others in their coven.
When two are to be interrogated, there are several techniques that can be employed. For example, separate persuasion, convincing each that the other may cooperate first and thus gain the benefit of a swifter more merciful death, can sometimes place extra pressure on the victims and yield good results. However, when the two victims have some emotional tie to each other, as these did, it is frequently effective to torture one in the presence of the other. One may break due to the physical pain, the other may break to keep the other from harm.
The two witches were brought in and I immediately selected the smaller and weaker of the two for the chair. She was prettier and the other would have a more protective attitude, and would feel more guilt over having the weaker one tortured when she was forced to watch.
The tall one was about 30, with long black hair that flowed like silk over her shoulders, large breasts that stood out from her body, and a shapely waist. She was dragged over to a post and chained there, where she could not move or prevent herself from viewing the agony and despair of her lesbian lover.
The smaller girl was younger, perhaps 22 years of age, with light brown hair that was cut to her shoulders in a ragged cut as if from a knife. She had the most lovely green eyes, large lips, and her face was sprinkled with freckles. While her short stature meant that she did not have as thin a body as her lover, a fine curve as an hourglass accentuated her hips and firm breasts.
Her dress was ripped from her, which brought a cry of protest from the woman chained to the post. The naked one was then dragged to the heavy metal chair which was covered with small but exceedingly sharp spikes over every surface. She was forced down, and immediately cried out from the spikes which penetrated her flesh. She struggled and resisted most violently, which in turn increased her discomfort as she embedded the spikes further in to her flesh. Straps were applied first around her arms, and then her waist, securing her. Her legs were also strapped securely.
Once all the straps were in place keeping her well secured to the chair of agony, they were tightened. The strap around her waist was pulled severely, which compressed her stomach and bowels and pressed her back and spine against the spikes in the back of the chair. The small woman's cries rang out through the dungeon as she struggled. The straps on the arms and legs were also tightened severely, and as the spikes penetrated the flesh of her limbs, small trickles of blood visibly ran down the metal of the chair.
The chair was then heated. By itself the chair is painful, and may induce cooperation and confession, but not in most cases. Additional persuasion is necessary, and heating the chair is a standard procedure. A small fire was lit and stoked in the opening below the seat. The heat from this fire was absorbed by the metal and transmitted to the occupant. It took about 2o minutes for the fire to burn to good coals that heated the chair maximally, and during this time we simply left the girl there, to moan and plead as she would, as her lover looked on.
The cries of the girl increased as the heat penetrated and spread. Her head bucked back as she stared at the roof overhead, tears running down the sides of her face. She struggled, breathed heavily and with effort, and sobbed over her misfortune. Her sapphic lover observed all of this and cried in equal manner to see the suffering of the young girl. The woman writhed in her bonds and cried out for mercy for the tortured girl.
At last, the smell of roasting flesh entered the air and mingled with screams from the naked young girl who struggled in the chair against the burning metal. One reason the chair needs a supplement is that if the victim simply sits still, the pain quickly subsides. But forced to squirm and struggle as with the hot metal or some other form of torture, the girl could not help but pull and move in her restrains. This caused the spikes to dig in further, pull and tear the flesh, thus increasing the discomfort.
The taller woman, chained to the post with her arms above her, continued crying out for mercy for her lover. She sobbed, and repeated that they were innocent. This was positive proof of their guilt, as we had not yet accused them or requested that they confess.
The smaller girl, tied to the chair, was sweating terribly with the heat, her naked skin shiny and glistening. Sweat trickled down her naked breasts to her legs. As she struggled, blood flowed down from the chair, and she cried out unceasingly.
We demanded she confess. She confessed immediately, begging for mercy. An immediate confession such as this is suspect, and we continued the interrogation.
We demanded she name the members of her coven, and she denied there was a coven. This was, once again, a clear sign of her guilt and failure to repent as she had confessed to avoid the cleansing pain, but was protecting her debauched sisters.
A container of oil was brought in and was poured over the girl's body. It sizzled as it struck the hot metal, boiled and actually began to burn in flames in some places, causing renewed screams from the prisoner, who jerked convulsively in her restraints. She urinated on the chair, and the urine bubbled and evaporated, causing a stench which filled the chamber along with the smell of her sweat, hot metal and burning flesh.
A finger press was introduced. This small device has two metal strips with small spikes or ridges. It was placed around the fingers of one hand, and screws tightened it. As the screws tightened, the strips pressed in to the finger bones. With sufficient turns, the fingers were broken, shattered in place.
The girl suffering in the chair was asked again, for the names of her sisters in the coven.
The woman hanging from the post in front of the chair was sobbing uncontrollably as she observed the agony of her lover, and begging for mercy. She asked that she take her lover's place, begged to be placed in the chair in her stead. We told her it was not necessary, that all she needed to do was to confess, and name the other members of the coven. She refused.
It had been about an hour and a half, and the girl in the chair fainted. Water was thrown on her to revive her, and she was allowed to drink. We did not want her to die before more information was extracted. She drank the water eagerly, and continued writhing on the chair, tearing her flesh on the spikes until her arms and back looked like raw, bloody meat.
Leg clamps were brought out, and fitted on her legs. These were simple presses that when applied would crush the legs, shattering the bones and causing much agony. As they were applied, the woman hanging from the post screamed again for mercy, and began to babble names.
The scribe took down the names, and we turned to the girl in the chair to verify the list. She moved listlessly, and failed to respond. The fire beneath her was stoked with more wood, increasing the heat; the leg presses were tightened.
The woman who had confessed, saw what had happened and fainted herself. We took her down, and dragged her limp form back to her cell. She was no longer needed.
Returning to the girl in the chair we saw that she no longer moved. We unstrapped her and lay her body on a table for examination. It was confirmed that two hours after the torture had begun, she had succumbed and died. The body was covered and turned over to the jailer.
It would have been best to get confirmation of the list from this girl, and a separate credible confession, but her death made it impossible. No matter, we had the list, and would be able to pursue the rest of the women in the sapphic coven, rooting out the evil corruption from that town.