Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Ferris Wheel"

Smiling faces walk the midway, oblivious to the sinister origins of a carnivals attractions. It is a place of madness and mayhem, disguised by brightly colored paint and pretty lights. Many of the rides are based on ancient torture devices. The games once had much higher stakes. I suppose ignorance really is bliss. It would certainly dampen the mood if people knew the truth.

Take the ride I operate, for example. Seems innocent enough. A big wheel, with seats that hang from crossbars. The wheel turns and the chairs go up, then they come down again. Great fun. But, did you know it comes from an interrogation tactic used right up until the mid-1800's? It's true. They used to strap the person being questioned to a rotating wheel, the base of which was under water. The wheel cranked until the victim was fully submerged. Then they were left there to thrash against their bonds for anywhere from 30 seconds to a full 2 minutes. Just before they drowned, the wheel was cranked again, bringing the subject back up for more questioning. If the answers weren't satisfactory...Down they went again.

The process was repeated again and again until the questioners were satisfied, or until the subject was dead, whichever came first. Fun fact huh?

Still want to ride? Got your ticket? Then step on up, you're the next in line.


  1. Interesting thought. I know some people would feel tortured to ride the carnival rides. And the games can be rather cruel as well.

    Tossing It Out
    Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

  2. That is just... Horrifying! And I thought I was a scardey for no reason.

  3. oh wow... scary!!! I don't think I want to ride again :-))


  4. Wow! Your voice adds a great touch to your words!