View Full Version : Numerated Pain: The Different Agonies of Different Deaths

Otto von Bismarck
07-25-2012, 04:44 AM
I'm attempting a short story where the main character is essentially immortal. He will die, but not exactly, experiencing every event leading up to a certain death, but he won't die. There are some lasting effects of this affliction, obviously. I need help figuring out the hierarchy of most painful ways to die. I remember somebody telling me there was a unit of measurement for pain, but for some reason I can't for the life of me remember it. If somebody could also help me figure out a certain kind of most painful to least painful ways to die list. Anything you guys supply will help me immensely. Thank you.

07-25-2012, 06:19 AM
There's a bunch of different ways of measuring pain, but the simplest to show/explain is probably the Wong-Baker FACES™ (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CFcQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wongbakerfaces.org%2F&ei=d1YPULmeJar50gGCjoGIBA&usg=AFQjCNGe_CFOOxGVydcJV2EMLcffnR58hg). I'd try a google search for "painful death" and see what I get. For me, answering this question would take days to write a book. There are hundreds and probably thousands of painful ways to die, and non-painful deaths need a good definition of how you're defining that.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

07-25-2012, 10:03 AM
Being burned alive would be near or at the top of the list.

07-25-2012, 05:50 PM
Aside from burning, the relative painfulness of various deaths would depend on the individual. Some people handle one kind of pain poorly, while others handle others. You probabbly should reply on your preferences, and the pain response stops working at certain points.

I wonder how many wasp stings it would take to kill.

07-25-2012, 06:47 PM
When you say painful ways to die are you solely talking about pain caused by the deliberate actions of other persons (or creatures), or are you including pain that arises during the natural process of dying as a result of accident, illness, disfigurement...

The scope is enormous.

07-26-2012, 12:42 AM
Jim is right about the Baker-Wong faces, but they are terribly subjective, too. I recently had this experience having a physical therapist working on a pressure point in my hip. I can handle pain very well, and I apparently didn't realize that I was tolerating way more than I was supposed to be.

So, I can't imagine what the most and least painful way to die would be, but I watch a lot of horror movies. (That's meant to be at least a little sarcastic.) I know how I wouldn't want to die, and that's usually in some way that is just innately terrifying to me. I'm afraid of fire, so I'd rather die any other way than that (but it's not a pain thing).

07-26-2012, 12:47 AM
The speed of the death is a factor, too. I'm sure being blown to smithereens must hurt enormously, but it's over in a second or two.

I've had health care people ask me to rate my discomfort (never 'pain') on a scale of 0, no pain, to 10, for agony beyond screaming. They often are amused by my fractions.

Maryn, trying to be precise

07-26-2012, 04:45 PM
We can't ask those who have been blown to smithereens, but it's likely death occurs before any pain signals have time to reach the brain. Even if they could reach it from parts that have been physically separated from it*. I suspect the most painful death would be one that combined intensity with duration.

*phantom pain notwithstanding :)

07-26-2012, 09:47 PM
This is actually something a friend of mine and I have discussed a lot. If I remember correctly, I finally threw down my vote for being skinned alive.

Soccer Mom
07-26-2012, 10:52 PM
I say just use your imagination. It's not like any dead people will come back to dispute you.

dolores haze
07-26-2012, 10:59 PM
I remember screaming "my pain is up to 11" giving birth to my last child. Quite proud I managed a Spinal Tap reference under such trying circumstances.

07-26-2012, 11:09 PM
dolores, I hope to hell somebody on the birthing team laughed their ass off at that.

Maryn, doing so now

Chasing the Horizon
07-26-2012, 11:21 PM
I know how I wouldn't want to die, and that's usually in some way that is just innately terrifying to me. I'm afraid of fire, so I'd rather die any other way than that (but it's not a pain thing).
Yeah, we all probably have a way of dying that freaks us out most. Mine is acute radiation poisoning. It's horrific (Google pics, actually, on second thought, don't Google pics), but something about those invisible particles beaming into your body and doing irreversible damage freaks me the hell out. It's like you're melting from the inside out, but don't even know until it's way past too late. *shudder*

Of course, death by acute radiation poisoning would probably be very difficult to arrange in a story, lol.

John Petersen
07-31-2012, 03:35 PM
I watched my best friend die from cancer- He was in horrible pain from both the chemo and the cancer

My brother died from aids- They were always removing something from him and he always had some kind of infection that drove him mad.

Snake bite from what I hear is excruciating- I wear my snake boots alot.

I imagine slowly be crushed is going to hurt pretty bad.

We have what is called a rosary pea, it'll make you bleed from the inside out over the course of a couple of weeks.

That flesh eating disease seems like it would be painful, not sure if shock would set in and numb it though. It'll kill you in a couple of hours.

I've pulled many of my own teeth without medicine and it hurts pretty good, but once it's gone the pain pretty much goes away- You can die from rotting teeth, supposedly a couple of them are connected to the heart somehow.

I'm guessing anything that causes intense pressure build up in the body would probably be the most painful.

And don't forget burns, good god almighty.