The guillotine came to symbolize the brutal Reign of Terror in France in the late 18th century. It is not something that was just used in distant history. The guillotine continued to be the official method of execution in France until capital punishment was abolished in 1981. It was last used to behead convicted torturer-murderer Hamida Djandoubi on September 10, 1977.
Read about the horrifying practice of rat torture.
Read more fun facts about France.