Since the debut of the witch of OZ film in 1939, many people have taken a liking to witches’ costumes.
They dress up in black gowns wearing pointy hats and fake warty nose to celebrate the Halloween festival, paying little heed to the history behind the witch characters.
But while many see witches as fictional characters created by screenplay writers to entertain our imagination, they were thought to be real in the past, and believers encountered them everywhere.
Believers were so sure of their existence that they tortured, burned, and hanged over 200,000 suspects across Europe between the 15th and 18th centuries. Even though half of these people turned out to be innocent victims of mass paranoia, they were guilty according to the believers’ standards.
This begs the question, how do you spot a witch?
Here are some of the most outrageous methods believers used to spot witches in the 15th to 18th centuries.
1. They are witches if they look like witches
One of the most bizarre methods old believers used to ascertain whether or not a said individual is a witch is to compare the person’s physical characteristics with the accepted standard.
In this way, any aged woman with a gobbler tooth, squeaky voice, furrowed brows, and hairy lips will be condemned for practicing witchery. In the 1640s, Rev John Guale condemned many suspects to torture and death through this method.
Dunking is another bizarre way old believers spot a crone. With this method, the suspect is stripped to her underwear, showered with holy water, with her left thumb tied to her right toe and vise versa.
After this procession, the suspect is thrown inside a river or pond. If she comes back up floating, she’s guilty.
But if she stays submerged in the river until she is hauled back up, she is innocent.
3. Tools of the trade
A person is considered to be a witch if she has the tools of the trade.
This includes crude dolls, broomstick, unusual ointments and potions, and Minifigures punctured by sharp objects.
4. Bible weighing
To spot a witch, the old believers will weigh the suspect against a stack of bibles or a giant bible.
If the suspect does not match the weight of the bible or weighs lesser than the pile, she is a witch.
5. Devil’s mark
Witches are thought to be devil’s advocates on earth. And as such, they are expected to carry the emblem of their master.
Thus, to spot a witch, suspects are stripped naked and examined for any marking that may indicate their connectedness to the devil.
With this method, a mole, pimple, extra nipple, or birthmark can condemn a suspect to a terrible outcome.
Time will not permit us to list other bizarre methods believers used to identify their witches, but with these 5 methods, you can spot a witch from a mile away.