Instrument used for torture and execution. Invoking fear in the victim as the axe descended, gradually coming closer to the victim’s body, this method probably served primarily to extort confessions.
If the offender refused to confess the crime, death would eventually occur due to severe torso injuries. Many historians disputed the actual use of pendulum as a method of torture, considering it to be a literary invention of E. A. Poe, depicted in his short story ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’.
Although invented to cause maximum pain, the pendulum’s primary function was to induce psychological fear into the victim, thereby extracting a quick confession.