Exactly what is Chinese water torture?

When I was growing up, many times an unpleasant experience was likened to Chinese water torture. And many times I myself was threatened with Chinese water torture by my older siblings. But I never knew exactly what it was, and neither did they, when it came right down to it. So what is it? And do the Chinese threaten their younger siblings with American water torture?

I may be mistaken, but I think this is done by tying the victim down face up, then setting up a reservoir of water so that it falls onto the victim’s forehead one drop at a time.


Sounds harmless enough, but it supposedly drives the victims completely over the edge.

I found this description at Epinions ( http://www.epinions.com/kifm-review-58D7-F04DBD9-387CD0C4-prod1 ). Not the best source in the world but the only one that came up in the search that didn’t have to do with movies.

Can you believe that the article is aimed as using this method to discipline a child?

I was under the impression that water torture was done by pinching your nostrils and stuffing your mouth with a piece of cloth. Water is then slowly poured on the cloth, so you get the feeling of drowning, but you can’t die or faint since there’s just enough air getting through to keep you concious. That’s how water torture is done by the Chinese anyway. I don’t know if it’s different from “Chinese water torture”. The dripping water thingy sounds silly though. I’ll take it over pulling off my nails, finger/toe smashing, and hot ironing any time of the day :smiley:

The dripping water is the American understanding of it, at any rate. I found this description using a Yahoo search of Usenet. Same idea. I think the Joker tried to do this to Batman once, too.

When I was a little kid I used to spen a lot of summers with my Aunt and Uncle. My uncle is Chineese.

On long road trips I would invariably have to pee really bad. Uncle Greg would begin to talk about waterfalls, drinking water, rivers, etc. This is “Chineese Water Torture”.

HOUDINI takes the origin of the term back to 1915, at least. That’s a start. Doesn’t help with Bib’s question, though.

I vote that “Chinese water torture” is an UL.