It was basically a helmet that was secured firmly to the head – the only deviation was the handle positioned before the forehead. A turn on the handle rotated a screw which terminated in a sharp spike which in turn bore its way into the forehead. The name ‘tickler’ and ‘paw’ of course belie the true horrifying nature of this implement. This was designed to be worn for long stretches of time – a gradual twisting of the handle so as to draw the pain out for the maximum length of time. It is possible that the victim lived for a period after the spike had broken through the skull.
Trivia & Comment
For information on a similar process (that some people undergo willingly, read about trepanation.