In honor of Halloween, let’s dive into some of the creepiest, scariest, and most disturbing inventions around. Some of these devices are downright cruel while others are just weird, and frankly, confusing.
Over the centuries, people have come up with all sorts of strange things, and this list of scary inventions just barely scratches the surface.
Let’s start with torture and execution.
The Iron Maiden has to be one of the most horrible inventions of all time.
Developed in Nuremberg, Germany during the high-middle ages (probably around the 14th century) this device takes torture to an entirely new level. It looks like an Egyptian mummy sarcophagus except with a few extra “treats” inside.
Made of either wood or metal, the inside is coated with spikes or sharp nails, which forced the occupant to stand absolutely still or they’d be pierced. Whoever came up with this device had a sick and twisted mind.
Speaking of death and torture, let’s talk about the toxic chemical originally referred to as Herbicide Orange (HO).
It was invented by the US Department of Defense to clear Vietnam’s forests for better visibility from the air. There was just one problem; we had no idea what it would do.
According to records, Agent Orange killed or maimed hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese civilians by burning them. On top of that, it led to 150,000 birth defects, and US army veterans exhibited high rates of cancer, respiratory, nerve, skin, and digestive disorders due to Agent Orange.
Image via Military.com.
Yes, you read that right.
Who wants a lamp that runs on electricity when you can have one powered by blood?
Designed by Mike Thompson, it’s called the Dracula Bulb and works thanks to a chemical reaction between blood and luminol, which is used by forensic investigators to determine if blood is present at crime scenes by glowing bright blue. To make the lamp work, you simply break the glass, cut yourself, and drip blood into the opening. Viola! A glowing blue lamp.
Image via LiveScience.
Let’s take a look at modern-day torture disguised as an up-and-coming product.
The Electro Smile is a crazy product invented by Japanese scientists that forces kids to smile by shocking them. That’s right.
Let’s say you’re kid throws tantrums and refuses to smile at grandma, the Electro Smile can change all of that by training your kids to smile using a 30 AMP super shock. Kids put the device on like a pair of glasses around their chin and receive jolts of electricity to their cheeks, which causes them to smile.
The best news, the smile lasts for days and only results in mild twitching… Yes, it’s creepy, but it exists.
There’s no doubt that historic medical devices can be creepy, and the Osteotome is the perfect example.
In the 1830s, what did you do if you had to cut through bone? You used a sharp spike that was driven into the bone to hold it in place and then cranked the handled to turn the saw-toothed blade.
Invented by Bernard Heine, this was the height of medical science in the early 19th century and was considered far superior to using a reciprocating saw or hammer to cut through bone. Personally, we’d rather try any other option.
Image via the Museum of Historical Medical Artifacts.
Invented by Dr. Gerhard Scharder in 1938, Sarin gas was never intended to be used as a weapon. In fact, it was only accidentally discovered when Scharder was working on something else.
Unfortunately, other people had different ideas. Sarin gas is a nerve agent that, once inhaled, can kill in one to ten minutes. It causes paralysis in the muscles and suffocation. The worst part is that Sarin gas is almost completely undetectable. It’s colorless, odorless, and only requires a small inhalation to cause excruciating death.
Image via Huffington Post.
Let’s finish our Halloween invention roundup with an invention that brings it back to kids—the epicenter of Halloween.
Invented in 1922 by Emma Read, the baby cage was a literal cage meant to hold one infant at a time. It was designed to be suspended from the windows of high-rises and apartment buildings to offer an alternative for childcare in crowded cities.
That’s right, the baby cage let mothers and nannies put their baby on a ledge hundreds of stories in the air to give them more room in the house. We don’t know if this is scary or just insane—maybe it’s a little bit of both.
Image via Mentalfloss.com
Comments will be approved before showing up.