Look Out Below: The Bloody History Of Defenestration

Published February 16, 2016
Updated September 3, 2021

History Of Defenestration

As a method of execution, throwing someone through a window is a bizarre concept. It’s amazing there’s even a word for it, and yet there is: defenestration.

We’ve witnessed it in countless movies — the thrilling opening fight scene in Watchmen, Edward Longshanks hurling his son’s lover through an open window in Braveheart, even the triumphant moment in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves when Friar Tuck pushes the money-laden bishop through the stained glass window of his chapel.

But there is a very real, and very weird history behind the practice…