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Witches have always been an object of mysticism and distorted ideas, born from various folk tales. Although we can never be sure if real witches did exist, there were women who were killed because their hair was red or their eyes green.
The witch hunts started as a result of the superstitions of some Catholic Monks. This Dominican monk is considered to be the initiator of the witch hunts as he prepared a detailed manual of deviltry for the Church. It did not take long before women in Southern France were sent to the stake, condemned for cohabitation with the devil.
Hugo de Boniols
The first woman accused of witchcraft was burned around 1275. This was the reason for her condemnation.
Participating in witch ring-dance rituals
Having intercourse with the devil
Healing a child with "magical" water
Many of witchcraft "confessions" were extorted by means of torture, called "ordeal". This method of torture was not used during the process of the "ordeal".
The Iron Maiden
The sound of trickling water
Burning women who were supposedly witches was a common practice on the European continent. In England, however, they punished witches in this way.
Starved them to death
Buried them alive
Stabbed them with a silver lance
Most of the victims of the witch hunts were women. However, there were some men also burned, accused of being witches. This is why.
They were more intelligent than other people
They tried to protect women accused of witchcraft
They often went out for a walk during full moon
They collected herbs
As the witch hunts expanded, any woman could be tried as a witch, but in the beginning these were the most common victims of the Holy Inquisition.
Beautiful young girls
Old, lonely women
Women of middle age who gave birth to twins
It was a common conception that the number of people involved in the witchcraft activities could be boundless. For example, in 1609 the witch hunting French official Pierre de Lancre stated that all 30,000 dwellers of the French region Labourd were witches, including these people.
The famous Salem Witch trial started with an incident in January, 1692. A Caribbean-born slave was accused of initiating the witch phenomenon. Twenty more people were killed as no one of them confessed to being a witch. What was the reason that triggered the Salem witch craze?
A severe drought made the local river dry up
Eight little girls from the town got ill with strange symptoms such as convulsions, incomprehensible speech, and trance-like states
Several babies in the town were born dead
There were innumerable storms over the town destroyed the crops
This was a common torture method used in Scotland, which made the accused witch confess her deeds. The method caused hallucinations and made it easy for the inquisitors to extort confessions to flying, turning into animals, meeting the devil and taking part in witches’ Sabbaths.
The Iron Maiden
Witch hunts still exist today. In 1981 a woman was killed by the mob, throwing stones at her as they believed she was a witch. This was the reason for stoning her to death.
Her spells were the reason for the ozone hole
Her magic killed the child of a neighbour
Her sorcery caused a tsunami in Mexico
Her sorcery incited the attack upon Pope John Paul II
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