By Declan McHugh
London's strangest and scariest humans and locations are introduced vividly to existence during this stroll throughout the capital's darkish facet. that includes serial killers, psychopaths, gangsters, ghosts and martyrs, listed here are fifty precise tales from all corners of the town bound to kick back your bones.
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Additional resources for Bloody London: A Shocking Guide to London's Gruesome Past and Present
Practised by some African tribes earlier this century, this method of execution was a traditional rite inflicted upon those committing adultery. After judgment had been passed by the village elders, the doomed couple were stripped naked and tied to posts sunk deep in the ground, about 4 feet apart, facing each other. Water, but no food, was given to them, the water being heavily salted. After 24 hours the man would be asked whether he wanted any food. Regardless of his reply, the executioner, wielding a panga, a long, wide-bladed knife, would slice off a portion of the woman’s breast and force it into the man’s mouth, his assistant staunching the gaping wound to prevent too much loss of blood.
The revolutionary army, under the command of Representative Carrier and his deputy Lamberty, swept through the countryside, wreaking terrible vengeance on all who resisted. The Vendeans rallied to the cause and, in the fierce engagements that followed, large numbers of them were taken prisoner. What happened to them was described in a report sent to the commune headquarters in Paris on 31 December 1793: ‘The number of brigands which have been brought here within the last ten days is incalculable.
A preliminary Inquiry took place, its results being passed to the Holy Office, and when these officers were satisfied that the suspect was indeed guilty – and few were found innocent – he or she was taken to the secret prison of the Office, there to be held incommunicado, completely isolated from the outside world. Should questioning not produce the required confession, the victim was then subjected to various forms of torture, these including the pendola, a knife-edged pendulum, and the dreaded tormento de toca, in which water was poured through a gauze in the mouth.