Deaths in Medieval times were so gruesome partly because of the torture devices that were designed to inflict horrible pain and suffering on a person before they were allowed to die. Torture devices were sadistically creative. For example, thumb screws were used to slowly crush victims’ thumbs and toes. The choke pear was inserted into victims’ orifices and then slowly expanded. There was even a torture method where rats were placed on a victim’s stomach and then forced to eat their way through the person’s body to escape.
Executions methods were also designed to inflict pain and suffering while at the same time prolonging the dying process. And doctors were no better. They would drill holes in a person’s head to try to cure mental illness.