Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hats for Evil not Good!

So someone sent me the first picture below, and I thought great I'll do a post on headwear used for pain and not pleasure, I'd not ever considered that this might have existed. Hats are always fun surely?! Anyway brilliant thinks me, so started googling, masks, pain, punishment and torture, lets see what that brings up - loads of gruesome stuff out there for sure..... oh yes there is.... and then I realised that combination of words didn't always give me quite the outcome I was after. I'm not THAT type of blog! But it did unearth some real cracking facts:
The Scold's Bridle
Take this bundle of joy, you wouldn't want to be Perez Hilton in medieval times or you'd get this slammed round your chops; it was used for rude, clamourous women who were considered to be spending too much time gossiping or quarreling. It had a bell on the top to draw attention to the wayward culprit and was used in workhouses in the UK up until the 1800's. To be honest, I'd probably turn the other way if someone wanted to whack it on Mr (or Ms) Hilton now, it might be an improvement!

Mask of Infamy - Ass
Then we have the Masks of Infamy, which were sometimes just used to subject the victim to public ridicule, a mask with long ears such as the one above signified someone who had been a right ass... obviously! I thought those people were easy enough to spot by their Ed Hardy T-Shirts, but I guess this was the medieval equivalent. You can find this piece of pleasure in the "Medieval Torture Museum" in San Gimignano in Italy. Tell me you don't want to go, not even a little bit?!

Some of these masks of infamy weren't quite so pleasant though, and had spikes and barbs and spears and all other manner of pain inflicting devices for the wearer to endure for their sins. The wearer would also often be chained to a post so if the mask wasn't hurting you enough, the village mob would probably help out. Not so nice, who'd look good in one of them? Maybe Dubya 'n Blair? They could have little twin ones, how cute! 

Dubya and Blair in twin masks of infamy! Arthur or Martha?
Russian Mask of Infamy
The Russians also got in on this Mask of Infamy business, not being afraid of a good dose of torture themselves. They also had a delightful sounding device called a head crusher where the victims head was put on a table and slowly crushed to a pulp by a slow, painful and heavy screw. Crunch. Pop. Splat!

Head Crusher

Next time I'll do a more pleasant post. Promise!

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