Shining a light on the Scottish witchcraft trials and their relevance today
The Scottish witchcraft trials were the result of one of the most extraordinary and fascinating periods of social history – a time when an accusation of witchcraft spread fear faster than an outbreak of smallpox. Scotland was not alone in persecuting people and during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries these 'enemies of God' were sought throughout Europe amongst men and women, the old and young as well as the rich and poor.
Yet why was it that, per head of population, people were five times more likely to be accused of witchcraft in Scotland than in Europe? Why was it that of the estimated 2,500 people who were executed for witchcraft in Scotland, 84% were thought to be women? How did ordinary folk going about their daily lives find themselves in court facing a possible death sentence?
Award-winning author Philip Paris will shine a light on to these questions and many more in his forthcoming talk on the Scottish witchcraft trials.
There is plenty of local parking and the library is wheelchair accessible.