Hanging, Burning, Beheading… Images of Execution Through The Ages

Execution has always been a popular form of entertainment. Whether it was a ritual to please the gods or a punishment ordered by the crown, people have flocked to witness the solemn event of death by cruel and painful means. In the centuries before photography, the only means of documenting execution was through illustration and printing, and the British Library has scanned in an awesome collection of execution images from Europe’s past. Below you’ll find artistic renderings of hangings, beheadings, torture, burning at the stake and many more execution methods that humanity has celebrated with grim enjoyment for generations!


Images via The British Library




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Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation webzine and clothing.

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