During The Middle Ages, Prisoners Were Lowered Into Special Castle Dungeons And Abandoned For Indefinite Amounts Of Time With No Sunlight, Space To Sit Down, Or Means Of Escape

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During the Middle Ages, prisoners suffered unspeakable horrors at the hands of a variety of excruciatingly painful torture methods.

One common practice involved tossing prisoners into a special type of dungeon called an oubliette, a French word meaning “to forget.” It was named so because prisoners were left there to be forgotten. This punishment may not have involved brutal violence, but it was cruel all the same.

Oubliettes were deep, narrow pits found in castles across Europe, where individuals could be imprisoned indefinitely. The only means of escape was a trapdoor at the top, which was frustratingly out of reach of the prisoner.

The pits were often not wide enough for a person to kneel or sit down in. So, they were forced to stand or crouch as they waited to be released or for death to finally claim them. The lack of food, water, sunshine, and space meant that prisoners’ spirits broke very quickly.

Oubliettes were also referred to as “bottle dungeons.” They were usually shaped with a thin, vertical passageway that led down into a lower dungeon that wasn’t much bigger. Prisoners would be lowered into the cramped space and abandoned in the darkness. Sometimes, the victims would have to share the prison with the remains of rotting corpses and vermin that consumed the flesh.

Some oubliettes were built deep underground, while others were constructed within the upper floors of the castles as an added layer of torture. That way, the trapped victims could listen to the sounds of life going on in the castle as they slowly died of deprivation in their dark prison.

These dungeons have been documented in places like England, Ireland, and Turkey. One of the most notable oubliettes is located in Leap Castle in Ireland. Built in the early 1500s by the vicious O’Carroll clan, the castle has a long, bloody history and is said to be one of the most haunted places in the world.

Its oubliette once served as a hiding spot and a storage space for valuables, but the O’Carroll clan used it for different purposes. They installed wooden spikes in the dungeon and threw their victims down into it.

In the 17th century, the Darby family took ownership of the castle, and they made a shocking discovery in the dungeon. Dozens of impaled skeletons had to be removed from the oubliette. Apparently, their removal has disturbed numerous spirits, who are said to wander Leap Castle to this day.

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