Bones of Witch Convicted of Sex with the Devil Missing Sept 3, 2019 4:20:38 GMT -5
Post by JoannaB on Sept 3, 2019 4:20:38 GMT -5
Villagers Want Bones of Witch Convicted of Sex with the Devil
Villagers in Torrubirm, Fife, Scotland, are desperately seeking the return of the bones of a “witch,” whose body is said to have been burned at the stake more than three centuries ago for having sex with the devil.
In 1704, Lilias Adie is believed to have been tortured into confessing to the crime of engaging in sexual activity with Satan, after which she was sentenced to death. Though she took her own life before the sentence could be carried out, according to legend, her corpse was burned nonetheless, after which her bones were buried beneath a half-ton slab. More than a hundred years later, sometime in the 1860s, someone snatched her remains.
On Sunday, September 1, the 315th anniversary of her death, wreaths were placed in Adie’s memory by villagers and members of the Fife Witches, who are determined to locate her skull and some of her bones so that she can be accorded a proper burial. Dr. Louise Yeoman, a local historian, said it was emotional to see Lilias’s memory embraced. “Lilias was cast out of this community and literally her body taken and buried on the boundary between high and low tide,” Yeoman explained. “Today it is like she has been brought back into the community in an act of remembrance.”
Locals gathered to highlight the injustice faced by Aide and others tried for witchcraft in Scotland from the 16th to the 18th century.
It is believed Aide was in her 60s, frail and with failing eyesight, when she was terrorized and tortured into confessing.
According to Yeoman, Scotland’s witches could not be pardoned. “Do I think there should be a national statement that we think the witch hunt was wrong and we are sorry?” she asked rhetorically. “Yes. Do I think there should be a national memorial? Yes, and local memorials.”
West Fife and Coastal Villages councilor Kate Stewart is championing the bid to find and return the witch’s bones. “Lilias is not forgotten, she has never been forgotten,” Stewart said. “We need to get her back. This has been a great injustice and we need to reverse that.”
As she lay a wreath in Aide’s honor, Julie Ford, deputy provost, declared, “It’s important to recognize that Lilias Adie and the thousands of other men and women accused of witchcraft in early modern Scotland were not the evil people history has portrayed them to be, but were the innocent victims of unenlightened times. It’s time we recognized the injustice served upon them. I hope by raising the profile of Lilias, we can find her missing remains and give them the dignified rest they deserve.”
It is known Lilias Aide’s skull was exhibited in 1938 at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow, however, her remains can no longer be traced.
Photographs taken of the skull at St. Andrews University in 1904 were recently used by researchers at Dundee University to create an image (above) of how she may have looked.
Source: John Jeffay, The Mirror, September 2, 2019.