Immurement, or the complete enclosure of a human being into a small space with no escape, was historically a common form of punishment across cultures throughout history. Indeed, history is full terrifying tales of people who were bricked up or buried alive. Enclosing a person into a tiny box was considered one of the slowest forms of torture. However, some immurements were a deliberate personal choice, particularly among the devout of several religions, such as priests, monks, and nuns.
Trapping someone in a tight space was also one of the forms of torture used on women in particular. These immurements might last weeks, months, years, or until death. Some among the immured were sacrificial; some were unwitting victims. Certainly, in horrific stories of historical immurement, anyone even slightly claustrophobic would have struggled immensely and, as time passed and food and energy diminished, immurement must have seemed like a particularly harsh hell. If you want to know what it was like to suffocate slowly in an enclosed space, read on to get a taste of what it was like to be immured and left for dead.