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How to Identify a Witch; just abit of fun
Topic Started: Jul 7 2011, 04:09 PM (463 Views)
egyptian
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Balance Scales

"Giant balance scales could...help identify a witch. If the suspect was heavier than the weights--sometimes a Bible was used instead of weights--then he or she was clearly a witch. Only if a perfect balance was struck was the accused vindicated. This rarely, if ever, occurred"




The Devil's Mark

It was widely believed that most witches sported a mark on their body which was placed there by the Devil. The Witches' mark, Devil's Mark, or Witches' teat was the seal of the Devil, given to witches upon initiation. This mark could be a scar, a mole, a birthmark, or superfluous nipple. The Devil's Mark was a nipple through which the witch nourished her or his familiar.

However, even if a person had no mark, it did not mean she or he was not a witch. Some witch-hunters believed that a witches' mark was only put on the bodies of witches that the Devil thought he could not trust. If a witch had no mark, it meant that she or he was especially devout to Satan.

Suspected witches were stripped, shaved, and strapped into a chair for interrogation. The Inquisitors would then wait and watch. If a mouse, rat, or beetle entered the cell and approach the victim, the accused was proven guilty. It did not matter that prisons were vermin-infested. The witches were obviously conversing with familiars.

The witch's body was then painstakingly searched. In men, the mark "may often be seen under the eyelids, under the lips, under the armpits, on the shoulder, on the fundament; in women, moreover, on the breast or on the pudenda" (Summers 71). Particular scrutiny was paid to the genitalia, for it was the most hidden part of the body.


When a Devil's mark was found, the Inquisitor would prick the spot with a needle or blade. If the mark did not bleed and the pricking did not cause pain, the spot was surely placed there by the Devil.

Many witch-hunters and Inquisitors used pricking knives with retractable blades. Matthew Hopkins and John Bain were two such hunters. When the Devil's mark was speared, the blade would retract, so the victim felt no pain, and no blood appeared (Farrington 58).


Ducking the Witch


One 'foolproof' way to establish whether a suspect was a witch was ducking. With right thumb bound to left toe, the accused was plunged into a convenient pond. If he or she floated it proved an association with the black arts, with the body rejecting the baptismal water. If the victim drowned they (sic) were innocent. Given the curious position of the prisoner, it was more likely they would float


The Ducking Stool


The ducking stool or diving chair was a punishment which most often befell women prisoners. Grossly unpleasant, and often fatal, the woman would be strapped into a seat which hung from the end of a free-moving arm. The seat and the woman would be dunked into the local river or pond. The dunking could last for an entire day or just a few seconds. "It was up to the operators of the stool as to how long she remained under the water." Many elderly women were killed by the shock of the cold water.


The ducking stool was used in America for witches, and in Britain for the punishment of minor offendors, prostitutes, and scolds
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