Myths and magic are so tightly woven into Scotland's history that it's sometimes impossible to separate reality from legend. Beyond the official histories are the stories that were passed on by word of mouth, of ghosts and witches and curses...
When witch-hunting mania swept the north east in the late 16th Century, the area was noted for the "detestabile practize of witchcraft". It is written that the warlock stone (or 'gryt stane o
cragleauche') just outside Torphins was where the Deeside coven of witches met. Led by the warlock Colin Massie of Glendye. The Aberdeen witch trials of 1596-97 list the names of the witches and their crimes.
They were all imprisoned in the Tolbooth in Aberdeen and most likely tortured to get confessions by means like thumb-screws, red hot leg irons, heavy weights, the witch bridle (an iron muzzle in an iron framework that enclosed the head) and or the ducking stool. 23 women and 1 man were tried and convicted of witchcraft. 22 of them were burned on Castle Hill in Aberdeen. They were publicly hanged, then burned after being tortured into confession!
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