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Cue haunted house music. Do you squint? Suffer from epilepsy? Confess to being down upon your uppers? Cook ye with herbs? Hand out ye vino, or ye aspirins to your long suffering friends? Have no family? Have no friends to hand out anything to? Be that teensy tiny bit different?

If you answered yes to any three of the above then sorry, but that might have been enough to get you done for witchcraft a good few hundred years ago. conv

My latest guest blog, continuing the spooky season is over at a favorite stable mate, Catherine Cavendish’s  http://www.catherinecavendish.com/2013/10/the-ghosts-of-glamis-with-shehanne-moore.html

It’s about the ghosts of Scotland’s most haunted castle, Glamis Castle, one of which is said  of be Lady Janet Douglas  burned at the stake as a witch in front of her young son in 1537. Catherine was kind enough to let me promo His Judas Bride, out on tour now, with an Amazon giveaway card  to a randomly drawn commenter- details here.

https://shehannemoore.wordpress.com/2013/10/02/a-fine-and-dangerous-season/ along with those for Etopia’s special Facebook Fest. it’s..er…no-one’s turn today. Well, not that I can see right now anyway, though that might change, But then it is Bald and Free Day.

Okay, so Glamis is also thought to be the setting for Macbeth…think hubble, bubble and a lot of trouble, it’s the perfect excuse to show this conv

and to say they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Oh yes, Salem didn’t just happen in Massachusetts, it happened right up the road from where I live. The quiet market town of Forfar  home in 1661 to 1000 people, was also home to a terrible set of events. A set of events begun by one woman  Helen Guthrie, without whom the Forfar witch hunts would never have lasted so long or encompassed so many. conv

Forfar Witches Circle Memorial

A drunk who murdered her own step-sister when they were both children. Helen and her 13 year old daughter Janet Howat were accused of being witches along with 11 others. So Helen decided to start naming names. Six suspected ‘witches’ were executed on the Playfield, in full view of the inhabitants of Forfar, who treated each execution as a day out. One was lynched when the townspeople decided to do more than have a day out. Two were banished from the town.

All told roughly 40 women were imprisoned before Helen herself was executed. The fate of her daughter is unknown. img158

Of course Forfar isn’t the only local  place to boast witches. In 1704 in the sleepy fishing village of Pittenweem one man set in motion a series of events that saw one woman –Beattie Laing– banished from the community, to wander and starve, an elderly woman beaten to death by a lynch mob, who rode a horse and cart over her body and one man starved to death in prison.

The leaders of the mob were never punished and Patrick Morton was found to be an hysterical impostor who was not brought to justice for his wrongful accusations.

Let’s not leave Dundee out of this. Dundee can boast Grizzel Jaffray, the wife of a city burgess. The reason she was burned is a mystery as the records have been destroyed. What makes Grizzel famous isn’t just that she was the last person to be burned in the town as  a witch. No. Local tradition states her son, a sea captain, returned to the town, after years at sea, wondering what the smell of burning was.

By the pricking of my thumbs  that’s yir horror for today.  Except maybe for this….img159

I did menshie Macbeth after all. Once, in another life, I was in it.