13 Eerie Facts About Life in Medieval Times

The Middle Ages was a period that extended from about 500 – 1500 CE in European history.

Interesting and Eerie Facts

shutterstock 1045909804 Custom

Knights, empires, religions, and more characterized the Middle Ages. But some amusing events occurred, too. Here are 13 interesting and eerie facts about the Medieval Era: 

1. The Black Death

shutterstock 1691880316 Custom

The eeriness of the Black Death was how it came to be. In the mid-1300s, a plague arrived in Europe from 12 ships docked at Messina.

1. The Black Death

shutterstock 1843978666 Custom

The sailors were either dead or covered with black boils. The Black Death plague ran its course by the early 1350s.

But this was after killing millions of people across the continent.

2. Doctors Tasted Urine

shutterstock 2252974937

Physicians would smell and taste urine to determine the patient’s health condition. There were drawings of different urine colors that guided them in diagnosis.

2. Doctors Tasted Urine

shutterstock 109017986 Custom

The taste test was efficient for diabetic patients, and if urine tasted sweet, diabetes was diagnosed.

3. Torture Devices 

shutterstock 2239081995 Custom

Did you think ‘death by hanging’ was torture? Then you haven’t heard from the Middle Ages.

3. Torture Devices

shutterstock 1517471384 Custom

This era used gruesome torture devices, such as the Breaking Wheel, impalement sticks, Pillory, and more. 

The devices punished offenders by causing them grave agony. 

4. Animal Courts


George Orwell certainly wasn’t far off in 1945 when he wrote the novel— Animal Farm. In the Medieval era, animals were accused and convicted in court.

4. Animal Courts

cute pig

Some of their crimes were chewing off body parts and, in some horrifying cases, consuming the flesh of children. Most of the animal offenders were pigs. 

5. Witch Hunts

woman depressed

The late Middle Ages experienced a surge in witch hunts. Thousands of people, mainly women, were suspected of witchcraft. 

5. Witch Hunts

witch burning

The hunting involved brutal trials, executions, and burning at the stake, which inevitably led to death.

6. Perpetual Soups

shutterstock 2090163163 Custom

Perpetual soup was a large pot of various foods that would always be on fire. The fascinating method of continued simmering preserved food and flavor. 

Unlike modern times, where we have a meal choice, perpetual soups were constantly bubbling and the inn would toss in whatever food they had that day.

7. Memento Mori

shutterstock 2351776275 Custom
Chemival / Shutterstock.com

A surefire way to know you’ve found yourself in the Medieval era was by seeing artworks that highlight death. Artists created pieces and objects that depicted mortality. 

7. Memento Mori

shutterstock 189931763 Custom
Ruslan Kokarev / Shutterstock.com

Some of these sculptures were of corpses, demons, dancing skeletons, and other spooky stuff. 

8. Fight, Not Divorce 

angry fighting

There was no child support in the Middle Ages. Husbands and wives had to combat themselves in a ring, also known as Marital Duels. 

The parties used clubs and rocks to fight their marital battles. Whoever won the fight was declared right in the dispute. 

9. Medieval Surgery


Medical progress during the medieval period was notable in the field of surgery. Innovative techniques —which can’t be termed innovative in the modern era— were created. 

9. Medieval Surgery

shutterstock 2180228219

Some of these techniques were trepanning, cauterization, amputation, and so on. Some patients didn’t survive it, but the techniques were still innovative, right? 

10. Love Magic

shutterstock 2256479907 Custom

There were many love potions in the Middle Ages. Love magic was common, and it was mostly women who indulged.

The use of menstrual blood proves the gender-specific aspect of love magic.

10. Love Magic

shutterstock 222272488

Examples of some of the materials used for love potions were the Mandrake root, honey, human remains, and worms. A documented spell demanded both the bone marrow and spleen of a tragically slain boy.

11. Changelings

shutterstock 2203659557 Custom
pmartinasi / Shutterstock.com

In medieval folklore, it was said that fairies or elves would replace a human baby with a deformed fairy offspring. This absurd theory was used to explain developmental disorders in children. 

12. Hairline Plucking

woman clutching hair

In the Middle Ages, women plucked their hairline to make their forehead appear bigger. There was a rave for s*xy foreheads, and big foreheads were preferred. 

Occasionally, women would go to the extent of plucking their eyebrows, too. 

13. Leper Colonies

shutterstock 2175093391 Custom
Alexandre.ROSA / Shutterstock.com

People saw lepers as ‘unclean’ or ‘morally corrupt.’ Consequently, between the 11th and 14th centuries, leper houses were established across Europe. 

The colonies were isolated from the rest of civilization. 

Read More: 11 Problems Only Smart People Have


Smart people have it easy — or that’s the assumption.

Read Next: 11 Problems Only Smart People Have

Read More: The Worst Things Teachers Have Confiscated

HUMb4h65 7LEOGYGEsgk8c6oM9eYn 7mJ 2Po4fP2YYcW5bwIu48CfZXvV5jkssi8DSWO69DnMRHSK3JIjLmK1BXZsR4zgNdEvRz7u ld8lXPosqKkpDh4AoEQSZdS37QzwqZ0iIqUhdoR yIshjAho

Teachers have seen it all. So we asked them: what was the worst thing they had ever confiscated from a student?

Their answers would be enough to put you off the teaching career for life.

Read Now: The 20 Worst Things Teachers Have Confiscated From Students

Read More: She Didn’t Want Her Son To Sleep At His Girlfriend’s Because “Something Felt Very Off”— And She Was Right

5S0GTeYh QAK0KiD3hkesE9F5YbnM5eGpUB Dev g3Orwj2TeLyzPoQCfJ3abEXU fcBE iEKfEF 67dGBJNRC1k7 5Z2gMwSdff5Zh8rGrJa7CdhZJphNNNUDLu0Gpu6lB4ARejbRfAE3II5Lmk1p0

To a child, parents’ rules and restrictions may seem arbitrary and controlling. While the occasional rule might be strict, hindsight usually reveals that—more often than not—a parent’s intuition was right.

Read Now: She Didn’t Want Her Son To Sleep At His Girlfriend’s Because “Something Felt Very Off”— And She Was Right

Read More: Teaching or Chatting?

FdddWtilbI 3vRh4CM2h9Dr3Sc5q1Mm8d3o4zueTWApzmcxP4PRAGYkFV0qNf2uyzSWv 9jSOCuHVVbICN6ZLBFmhnscUTk7icXC0

Did you know that up to 45% of all Americans have a side gig? Do you?

We found probably one of the most enjoyable, rewarding ways to earn money by teaching (chatting) with those who want to learn English online. Log in any time you want, 24/7, and get paid weekly for the hours you put in.

Learn More: Cambly 2023 Review, Requirements & Pay For Tutors (Beginner Friendly)

Read More: Dad Let His Son Take “Toy” To Show and Tell, Not Knowing What It Really Was

8TqVO6Cgyvo7Xt j4oEGXHl8uKwUsWBRCq4D02lW4k

When Mom’s away, Dad and son will play.

Read Now: Dad Let His Son Take “Toy” To Show and Tell, Not Knowing What It Really Was

This article was produced by TPR Teaching

Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments