The Theatre du Grand Guignol, for years one of the leading tourist attractions of the French capital, was the classic shock theatre, specializing in productions designed to horrify and sicken.
Historian Mel Gordon, in The Grand Guignol: Theatre of Fear and Terror (1988), recounts some of the plots:
The innocent Louise is unjustly locked in an asylum with several insane women. A nurse assigned to protect her blithely leaves for a staff party as soon as Louise falls asleep. The insane women decide that a cuckoo bird is imprisoned in Louise’s head and and one gouges out her eye with a knitting needle. The other crazy women are freaked and burn the gouger’s face off on a hot plate.