Whether they were accused of conferring with the Devil or merely stood as threats to conventional society. Witches have long captured the public imagination. Many witches are seen as the feminist icon, while others have been linked to death and destruction. Here are some famous “witches” who have haunted the ages.
Countess Elizabeth Bathory - the owner of Csejthe castle - is considered the most famous assassin in Hungarian history. Over the years, hundreds of girls recruited to work at Csejthe Castle were recorded as mysteriously missing. After investigation, the girls were found in the dungeon.
According to the victims' testimony, they were tortured for extended periods, including brutal beatings: being burned or having their hands cut; having their flesh cut off from the body; burned in the face and some other parts; starved to death ... Besides, there were rumors of Countess Elizabeth bathed in the blood of the victim. Although "witch" Elizabeth Bathory was not brought to trial for her social status, she was kept under house arrest until she died.
2. Ilse Koch
She was Karl Koch’s wife - commander of the concentration camps Buchenwald and Majdanek in Nazi Germany, Ilse is known as "the witch of Buchenwald". Infatuated with her husband's absolute power, Ilse was satisfied with the torture. Ilse is famous for killing prisoners, cutting skin for tattoos.
3. La Voisin
Catherine Monvoisin, also known as La Voisin, lived in France in the mid-1600s. She was also one of the heads of the affaire des poisons, a cult who poisoned many members of the French aristocracy, and who had planned to poison King Louis XIV.
In the late 1670s, fear of poisoning and witchcraft reached a fever pitch in the streets of France, and many successful fortune-tellers and poisoners, including La Voisin, were arrested. She was burned publicly after being convicted of witchcraft in 1680.
4. Merga Bien
A well-to-do German heiress in the 17th century, Merga was on her third husband when her fate was sealed. Of the over 200 people who were accused of and executed for being witches in Fulda, Merga was considered to be the most famous. The circumstances that led to her death were ill-timed: She had just returned to the city after arguing with one of her husband's employers and she found herself pregnant.
5. Isobel Gowdie
Tried and executed for witchcraft in 1662, Gowdie is notable for her detailed confession, which she gave of her own volition, without being tortured like so many other women of the time. Gowdie was a young housewife who lived at Auldearn, Highland, Scotland.
Her confessions about her coven’s activities, including their supposed ability to transform into animals, gave great insight into European folklore surrounding witchcraft at that time. She also claimed to be “entertained” by the Queen of the Fairies, in her home “under the hills.” Some speculate that Gowdie’s confession may have been the result of psychosis, or a ploy to get a more lenient sentence.
6. Dion Fortune
Dion Fortune was known as a British occultist and author thought of by many as a modern-day witch. She wrote prolifically about the occult in both fiction and non-fictional works. The Fraternity of the Inner Light was founded in 1924 by her. This was known as a magical society dealing with religious philosophy and alternative realities. She died in 1946, leaving behind her magical society, which has survived to this day.
Most people here have heard this name from Authur Miller’s - The Crucible. But like many other characters in the play, Tituba was inspired by a real person. Tituba admitted to the participation of an occult ritual, saying that she had baked a witch cake in an attempt to help her mistress, Elizabeth Parris.
Tituba embellished her confession by adding details about her service to the devil, riding on sticks, and being told by a black dog to harm the children. Tituba, along with many others, was imprisoned for nearly a year but managed not to be one of the women hanged for witchcraft.
8. Mother Shipton
Ursula Southeil, better known as Mother Shipton, was a highly regarded and feared English prophetess during the 1500s. Mother Shipton was considered England's greatest clairvoyant and was even compared to Nostradamus.
Some of Mother Shipton’s prophecies foretell many modern events and phenomena; it is said she predicted the Spanish Armada, the Great Plague of London, the Great Fire of London, the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, and the Internet. Unlike so many other well-known witches, Mother Shipton died a natural death and was buried on the outer edges of York in 1561.
9. Agnes Sampson
In the North Berwick area between 1590-1592, there were 70 people accused of being witches, Agnes Sampson was one of them. The confessions were brought on by torture, and the questioning oftentimes came from the King himself.
Unfortunately, however, the torture was too much for her take and it broke her spirit. Sleep-deprived and exhausted by being bound in a witch's bridle, an instrument that inserted four prongs in the mouth and was attached to a wall, she confessed to being allies with Satan and conspiring to kill the King.
The wizarding world always has the magic power that fascinates us. Let’s explore Witchcraft 101 to find out more interesting information about the wizarding world.