Most Brutal Execution Methods #9 — Immurement

Immurement was the practice of boxing someone up and leaving them to die of starvation, dehydration or exposure. It was a slow and horrible way to go…

Immurement is one of the simplest and most hands-off methods of execution. All it involves is putting someone in a confined space and then leaving them alone until they die of hunger, starvation or exposure to the elements. So it’s similar to being buried alive but you die slowly from lack of food and water rather than oxygen.

Although the gore factor is much lower than say sawing or impaling, it must be a pretty dark way to go. Sitting, standing or lying, waiting for the slowest death imaginable. It takes three days or more to die from dehydration, and about thirty from food. So the length of time it takes for you to die can be extended by the captor by supplying a tiny touch of water every once in a while. Here’s a nun getting immured:

Immurement - nun

Throughout history immurement has been used in one guise or another off and on across the globe. It’s cheap, effective and horrible, that’s all the boxes ticked I guess. On top of that the immured person is a constant reminder for passers-by to behave .


Immurement - vestal virgins

Vestal Virgins were a special class of priestess in ancient Rome. They were supposed to remain celibate and if they broke that vow they would be up for immurement. This is how it went down:

“When condemned by the college of pontifices, she was stripped of her vittae and other badges of office, was scourged, was attired like a corpse, placed in a close litter, and borne through the forum attended by her weeping kindred, with all the ceremonies of a real funeral, to a rising ground called the Campus Sceleratus. just within the city walls, close to the Colline gate. There a small vault underground had been previously prepared, containing a couch, a lamp, and a table with a little food.

The pontifex maximus, having lifted up his hands to heaven and uttered a secret prayer, opened the litter, led forth the culprit, and placing her on the steps of the ladder which gave access to the subterranean cell, delivered her over to the common executioner and his assistants, who conducted her down, drew up the ladder, and having filled the pit with earth until the surface was level with the surrounding ground, left her to perish deprived of all the tributes of respect usually paid to the spirits of the departed”.

☛ Read Next: Most Brutal Execution Methods #5: Disembowelment

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