Tuesday, December 08, 2015 by Norman Smith
The “Iron Maiden” is a barbaric torture device that many people believe was widespread during the Middle Ages. But that belief is based on a hoax.
In 1793, a philosopher and archaeologist named Johann Siebenkees, wrote a story about a medieval coin forger who was enclosed in a casket full of spikes that slowly impaled him. And of course very many people believed it.
Later, sometime in the 1800s, a torture aficionado named Matthew Peacock built a device based on Siebenkees’ description, and named it the Iron Maiden. Eventually, he gifted it to a museum, where it took on a legend of its own.
You can see an Iron Maiden at a Swiss castle called Museum Schloss Kyburg, where it attracts curious visitors and conjures creepy vibes about the Middle Ages. As the museum website notes, “In fact, the Iron Maiden was never used to torture nor to kill somebody at these times. She was invented in the 19th century, in order to furnish horrible torture chambers in castles around Europe, when they were no longer used for the investigation of crimes, but to horrify visitors.”
Today, Iron Maiden is better known as the name of a popular heavy metal band. Although the band’s heyday was in the 1980s, its brand has been substantially revived lately with the launch of it own private label beer. Teaming up with Robinson’s brewery in the UK, Iron Maiden launched it’s “Trooper” ale about two years ago, which has since sold a reported 10 million pints. (This writer is holding a can of it in the picture shown above.) To celebrate the wild success of its foray into the highly-competitive beer market, Iron Maiden will soon be releasing a new brand of ale called “Trooper 666,” which is perfectly aligned with the band’s Satanic image.