I wonder if this was a prank gone too far, or a real attempt at using an old torture device?
This article from 1902 reports an incident at Earl’s Court Exhibition where on display was a Wheel of Death.
The Wheel of Death is a large wheel that the soon-to-be tortured are strapped to, with spikes waiting at the bottom to cause maximum discomfort as the wheel was turned.
The Wheel of Death on display was the genuine article but, for safety, was locked down and prevented from turning.
This was a very lucky circumstance for the man discovered strapped to it one morning by a watchman. This man was dazed and damaged but, luckily for him, unturned.
Once he recovered he refused to give an information as to who placed him in such a position, and quickly made an escape.
Tellingly, three other people who were involved in the exhibition disappeared at the same time. No prizes for guessing who might have done it then….
Afterwards, it was found that great efforts had been made to turn the wheel when the man was strapped to it. Again I ask the question, prank or attempted murder? What do you think this man had done to deserve such a fate?
Can you imagine the poor watchman if that morning he had not found an unhappy man strapped to this torture implement, but had to clean up the mess after the wheel had been utilized? Ick.