"the Iron Maiden"

Iron Maiden
GNU Free Documentation LicenseIron Maiden - Credit: Lestat
An Iron Maiden is a particularly nasty torture device which began to be used in the very late 18th Century.  It is an iron cabinet, of human height, with a hinged door.  Inside are long, sharp metal spikes, which force the victim to stand upright for a long period of time, or risk being impaled.  In this sense, it can be seen more as a form of execution than anything else.