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A Typical Day's Torture For A Witch


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#1 AnjelWolf

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 05:30 PM

Verbatim report of the first days of torture of a woman accused of witchcraft at Prossneck, Germany, in 1629.

1. The hangman bound the hands, cut her hair, and placed her on the ladder. He threw alcohol over her head and set fire to it so as to burn her hair to the roots.

2. He placed strips of sulphur under her arms and around her back and set fire to them.

3. He tied her hands behind her back and pulled her up to the ceiling.

4. He left her hanging there from three to four hours, while the torturer went to breakfast.

5. On his return, he threw alcohol on her back and set fire to it.

6. He attached very heavy weights on her body and drew her up again to the ceiling. After that he put her back on the ladder and placed a very rough plank full of sharp points against her body.

7. Then he squeezed her thumbs and big toe in the vise, and he trussed her arms with a stick, and in this position kept her hanging about a quarter of an hour, until she would faint away several times.

8. Then he squeezed the calves and the legs in the vise, always alternating the torture with questioning.

9. Then he whipped her with a rawhide whip to cause blood to flow out over her shift.

10. Once again, he placed her thumbs and big toes in the vise, and left her in this agony on the torture stool from 10:00 a.m. till 1:00 p.m., while the hangman and the court officials went out to get a bite to eat. In the afternoon a functionary came who disapproved this pitiless procedure. But then they whipped her again in a frightful manner. This concluded the first day of torture. The next day they start all over again, but without pushing things quite as far as the day before.

-Wilhelm Pressel, Hexen and Hexenmeister (1860)




I posted this word per word from one of my rare books "The Encyclopedia Of Witchcraft and Demonology", By Rossell Hope Robbins, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Second Printing, 1960, first printing, 1959.

My reason to post this is to share a bit of our history with many who are new here. You see...it does not matter if you come from a family line of witches or come to the craft through way of seeking a different spirituality. Once you accept this path as your own, you then become bonded with our history. These ancestors are now YOUR ancestors. And there will be a time when WE will become someones ancestors as well.

Our traditional witchcraft history is rich and filled with so much knowledge. I guess that's why sometimes when I hear or see someone tossing fairy dust and singing love blessings like some fool at a freak show, I get alittle miffed and roll my eyes.

The ancestors didn't throw Fairy dust and sing love blessings. They used herbs to cure, many were mid wives, or older people who learned things from their ancestors. Many were actual witches who belonged to covens and practised in secret.

I am really not trying to come off as preachy....please do not think or sense that. I just wanted to share a bit of your new history with you :)

This post has been promoted to an article

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#2 Sandy

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 05:41 PM

Now THAT was fantastic. Keep it rolling Anjel - if you have any more such deep information please share it :). It is interesting for us all - not just those on a new path :)
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#3 AnjelWolf

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 05:43 PM

Plenty more from this rare book...next thing I'll post is how much it cost for a witches execution and WHO had to pay for it :)
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#4 Guest_Blackeagleclaw_*

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 06:20 PM

Great Anjel this is how I feel about it too. I believe when an individual decides to walk theTraditional Witchcraft path, they would have to strip off the ways of any former paths to be able to accept the new information. "I" made the decision to leave that life behind so I could be open to the Traditional Witchcraft ways. I am not here to condemn anyone for that is not for me. This is only my opinion of what I believe was the only way for me to be free to receive. I realize it is hard to do this and I will be the first to tell you its not easy, but for me I had to forget what I had learned about an start anew.
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#5 AnjelWolf

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 07:20 PM

Very true.... :)
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#6 Cairelle

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 01:39 PM

Great Anjel this is how I feel about it too. I believe when an individual decides to walk theTraditional Witchcraft path, they would have to strip off the ways of any former paths to be able to accept the new information. "I" made the decision to leave that life behind so I could be open to the Traditional Witchcraft ways. I am not here to condemn anyone for that is not for me. This is only my opinion of what I believe was the only way for me to be free to receive. I realize it is hard to do this and I will be the first to tell you its not easy, but for me I had to forget what I had learned about an start anew.


That may be what you had to do, but I disagree that everyone needs to "strip off the ways" of a former path and forget what they learned. Every lesson learned is a valuable piece of information. I can recite a Latin mass in my sleep (due to years at Catholic schools) and while I don't practice that religion anymore, I can still appreciate the beauty of it, and also use the historical lessons of that faith as a basis for forming opinions on other paths and religions.

Wiccans come into this Traditional Witchcraft path and bring some of their previous ways with them and it fits just fine. Wicca too is a pagan path, albeit a different one. Remember, however, that they are also herbalists, candle-burners, and spell-casters. They just don't have an acceptance of the darker side of things as we do. That doesn't make them bad or less than us, just different. This board tends to shoo them away, however, as they have a bad habit of protesting our lack of fear about hexing and other darkness. The Wiccans that come seeking are quite welcome... as long as they aren't bringing only their fairy dust bullshit with them and telling us how wrong we are, and are open to learning what traditional witchcraft means. We each love to teach our different ways of doing things and encourage people to explore the beauty of being a real witch.

I was raised in a Catholic family and my grandmother read cards and auras, and was a voodoo/hoodoo practitioner as well, and I think you'd be hard-pressed to find any New Orleans' style hoodoo workings in traditional British witchcraft. Voodoo incorporates a lot of the Catholic faith into itself. There is a VERY heavy voodoo/hoodoo influence in my spirituality and witchy practices, and I dare anyone to say I'm not a witch.

The beauty of this path is that it is fluid and variable, and incorporates different styles of working into itself. While we all have a lot in common, we also each bring a bit of our own magic to the path. To limit yourself from using what you know from your past experiences only dampens your new experiences. Learn to stay open-minded, and make witchcraft a part of who you are, not just what you do. There are no rigid rules. It's okay to be intense about learning a new path, but it's not all so serious, you know? ;)

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#7 snow

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 01:52 PM

Verbatim report of the first days of torture of a woman accused of witchcraft at Prossneck, Germany, in 1629.


The key word here being "accused." While I do not deny that there probably were some witches who were in fact tortured and killed. However, there is a huge possibility that many of the people accused and taken from their homes to be horribly tortured and murdered were in fact just social outcasts, or people who were the victims of village squabbles. Of course, this post isn't to debunk the idea that we all have to acknowledge history and understand it, but just to take into account all of those who were extremely wrongly accused. Those who were burned in the name of something that is sacred to us, when in fact they were probably not practitioners at all.

Anjel, I have read great reviews of that book and I really can't wait to get my hands on it. It's on my Amazon wishlist:). Oh, and I recently met some fairy dust people; they really do talk a lot of shit don't they?;)

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#8 AnjelWolf

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 04:58 PM

The key word here being "accused." While I do not deny that there probably were some witches who were in fact tortured and killed. However, there is a huge possibility that many of the people accused and taken from their homes to be horribly tortured and murdered were in fact just social outcasts, or people who were the victims of village squabbles. Of course, this post isn't to debunk the idea that we all have to acknowledge history and understand it, but just to take into account all of those who were extremely wrongly accused. Those who were burned in the name of something that is sacred to us, when in fact they were probably not practitioners at all.

Anjel, I have read great reviews of that book and I really can't wait to get my hands on it. It's on my Amazon wishlist:). Oh, and I recently met some fairy dust people; they really do talk a lot of shit don't they?;)


I agree that the word here is accused. As I clearly stated earlier many were mid wives or older women who had healing stuff from their ancestors. Also some were social outcasts.

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#9 AnjelWolf

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 05:00 PM


Wiccans come into this Traditional Witchcraft path and bring some of their previous ways with them and it fits just fine. Wicca too is a pagan path, albeit a different one. Remember, however, that they are also herbalists, candle-burners, and spell-casters. They just don't have an acceptance of the darker side of things as we do. That doesn't make them bad or less than us, just different. This board tends to shoo them away, however, as they have a bad habit of protesting our lack of fear about hexing and other darkness. The Wiccans that come seeking are quite welcome... as long as they aren't bringing only their fairy dust bullshit with them and telling us how wrong we are, and are open to learning what traditional witchcraft means. We each love to teach our different ways of doing things and encourage people to explore the beauty of being a real witch.

I was raised in a Catholic family and my grandmother read cards and auras, and was a voodoo/hoodoo practitioner as well, and I think you'd be hard-pressed to find any New Orleans' style hoodoo workings in traditional British witchcraft. Voodoo incorporates a lot of the Catholic faith into itself. There is a VERY heavy voodoo/hoodoo influence in my spirituality and witchy practices, and I dare anyone to say I'm not a witch.

The beauty of this path is that it is fluid and variable, and incorporates different styles of working into itself. While we all have a lot in common, we also each bring a bit of our own magic to the path. To limit yourself from using what you know from your past experiences only dampens your new experiences. Learn to stay open-minded, and make witchcraft a part of who you are, not just what you do. There are no rigid rules. It's okay to be intense about learning a new path, but it's not all so serious, you know? ;)




Beautiful response :)

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#10 Guest_Dee_*

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 05:21 PM


I was raised in a Catholic family and my grandmother read cards and auras, and was a voodoo/hoodoo practitioner as well, and I think you'd be hard-pressed to find any New Orleans' style hoodoo workings in traditional British witchcraft. Voodoo incorporates a lot of the Catholic faith into itself. There is a VERY heavy voodoo/hoodoo influence in my spirituality and witchy practices, and I dare anyone to say I'm not a witch.

The beauty of this path is that it is fluid and variable, and incorporates different styles of working into itself. While we all have a lot in common, we also each bring a bit of our own magic to the path. To limit yourself from using what you know from your past experiences only dampens your new experiences. Learn to stay open-minded, and make witchcraft a part of who you are, not just what you do. There are no rigid rules. It's okay to be intense about learning a new path, but it's not all so serious, you know? ;)


Thats very true for several traditional paths, particularly traditional Italian, German and French witchcraft. It also incorporates alot of the Catholic faith in it. However, a lot of the Catholic faith also is based on early paganism as well as the writings of Solomon. Included into these traditions are the use of the books of Psalms in magic. Traditional witchcraft is an ancient path that many religions have borrowed from including wiccans, christians, buddists, etc. Throughout the ages, many have been persecuted for their beliefs and it continues today. Our ancestors were no exception. The availability of books and other material made available by the Wiccans have led thousands back to the traditional path. The elders of the traditional path need to realize that they must teach those seeking to learn to honor the ancestors who gave their lives so horribly. Unfortunately, this is the only forum that I've seen where these elders are really willing to do that. I believe that wiccan knowledge is just a building block not a stumbling block.

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#11 Droghon

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 05:34 PM

KW, Dee, Snow, Anjel,

GOOD posts and good points made by all.

KW I think your last point about learning not being all serious is spot on, it's easy to take the view that there is 'one true way', life and experience teaches us there are many ways, all valid for those that follow them.

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#12 Sandy

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 05:50 PM

believe that wiccan knowledge is just a building block not a stumbling block.


Exactly and that is WHY our site is providing that bridge and why so many disillusioned Wiccans are joining here recently.

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#13 Marshy

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 09:44 AM

Sandy, you are so right, I think most of us know the problems and realise how difficult this can be for newcomers; I was lucky I eventually found a place! ;)
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Hal wes u, folde, fira modor ! Marshy :flyaway:

#14 Sara

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 09:55 PM

This is a really good thread and I agree with KW that you must appreciate where you have been and not forget the lessons you were taught. There is a lesson in everything and you can learn from it whether the choice you made was wise or unwise.
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#15 wolfjan1

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 11:14 PM

These guys give some of our current serial killers a run for their money. Pure evil recruited to torture women.
This was "Christianity", or in the name of "God?"
Humans are the most arrogant, insufferable, evil animals on the planet.

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It takes true arrogance to try and force ones' religion on another.

#16 AnjelWolf

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 11:20 PM

These guys give some of our current serial killers a run for their money. Pure evil recruited to torture women.
This was "Christianity", or in the name of "God?"
Humans are the most arrogant, insufferable, evil animals on the planet.


You know Wolfjan...I truly would have ot agree with you on that

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#17 wolfjan1

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 11:46 PM

Wait, you do not agree, or there was a typo?
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It takes true arrogance to try and force ones' religion on another.

#18 wolfjan1

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 11:47 PM

a typo. Duh, WJ.
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It takes true arrogance to try and force ones' religion on another.

#19 Grymdycche

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 05:06 PM

This is similar to the special last night that aired on the History Channel, it was all about Crucifixion. It's usage goes back to 900BCE, but was "perfected" by the Romans, who often performed horrible whippings first. A modern doctor ran tests on volunteers (or weren't subjected to the worst of it)to see just what happens to the victim, including respiratory failure. I just cannot imagine anyone sitting around thinking up ways to better torture people, and then actually carrying it out - Roman, Christian Inquisitor, or otherwise. It's just inhuman.

BTW, ironically, many historical documents tend to indicate that witches were more likely not be executed where the Inquisition had a strong presence - it was the small isolated "rogue" towns and out of the way villages, where local political infighting was at it's worst, that most women (and men) suffered for being accused of practicing witchcraft with evil intent.

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#20 Guest_Tiger Lady_*

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 12:08 AM

Wow Anjel... its hard to even imagine such atrocities and hatred. I do have one poem that I like to read to remind me that this hatred did exist.

For all those who died - stripped naked, shaved, shorn.
For all those who screamed in vain to the
Great Goddess, only to have their tongues
ripped out by the root.
For those who were pricked, racked, broken
on the wheel for the sins of their Inquisitors.
For all those whose beauty stirred their
tortures to fury; and for those whose ugliness
did the same.
For all those who were neither ugly nor
beautiful, but only women who would not
submit.
For all those quick fingers, broken in the vice.
For all those soft arms, pulled from their
sockets.
For all those budding breasts, ripped with hot
pincers.
For all those midwives, killed merely for the
sin of delivering man to an imperfect world.
For all those witch-women, my sisters, who
breathed freer as the flames took them, knowing
as they shed their female bodies, the seared flesh
falling like fruit in the flames, that death alone
would cleanse them of the sin for which they
died - the sin of being born a woman who is
more than the sum of her parts.


~Anonymous 16th century


I don't really think this was written in the 16th century but that's how I have always found it. Never-the-less it still takes my breath away.

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