The 14 Most Gruesome Ways Pirates Have Killed People Throughout History

Pirates have often been seen as bloodthirsty and vicious criminals who would commit evil acts of violence without a second thought in order to secure treasure or evade justice. This perception can make people wonder about the grisly ways pirates killed people. However, just like with many portrayals of them on screen and in books, the truth is actually something quite different. In the same way that they didn’t walk around with parrots or speak in that infamous accent, the vast majority of pirates tried to avoid violence whenever possible.

This makes sense when you think about it. After all, if every pirate engagement ended with the crew being tortured and executed, it would cause sailors to make life as difficult as possible for the invaders. They would likely fight to the death rather than submit easily, something pirates wanted to happen so they could make a quick getaway.

That did not stop some of the swashbucklers from committing some terrible deeds. How did pirates kill people? Sometimes they had to torture a person to find out information, kill prisoners to keep them from escaping, or even make an example of a fellow pirate who had turned against his crew. Whatever the case, pirates had some fairly ingenious and gruesome ways of murdering their enemies that will make your skin crawl.