Tuesday, October 20, 2015


England’s most famous witch, Agnes Waterhouse, made deals with the Devil, cursed people, and murdered her enemies using black magic--or so she confessed after the proper amounts of torture.  She owned a cat named Satan, which she sent to kill her enemies’ livestock, or even the enemies themselves!  She may be the only person executed because of getting a second-hand cat from her sister...

Also known as Mother Waterhouse, Agnes was the first witch to be accused and sentenced to death by a secular court.  Her trial had nothing to do with the Church.  She did not repent, saying that Satan had told her she would die by hanging or burning, and there wasn’t much she could do about it. 

However, on her way to be hung, she confessed to once trying to kill a man and failing because his belief in God was too strong.  She died praying for forgiveness in 1566.

On Halloween night of 1590, Agnes Sampson, a midwife to the rural residents of East Lothian, Scotland, was said to have attended a witch’s coven hosted by Satan at the gloomy Auld Kirk Green, a small church in North Berwick, Scotland. The insidious intention behind their gathering was to summon a supernatural storm that would sink the caravel of King James VI’s young Danish bride, the newly anointed Queen Anne, on her way to Scotland from Copenhagen.

Storms did indeed inflict Anne’s voyage, forcing Anne and her escort to take port in Norway.  And, upon hearing this news, the King himself went to retriever her and when they tried once more to cross the North Sea another monstrous storm beset them, but this time they still successfully landed in Scotland. 

Shortly after his return, the King himself questioned Agnes and others at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh. This would be the start of the North Berwick Witch Trials which would lead to 70 executions. To extract her confession torturers fitted Agnes with an iron muzzle with four prongs inserted into the mouth and pinned to the wall of her cell known as the witch’s bridle, a Scottish invention. 

After her confession, Agnes was taken to the nearby Castlehill and was garroted before being burned at the stake. Her ghost, head shaven as it was at the time of her death and fully nude, has supposedly been spotted floating down the halls of Holyrood Palace.

And now a musical selection to soothe the tortured mind and troubled soul:

It's Iron Maiden with...
"Moon Child"

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