Isobel Gowdie was a Scottish woman accused of witchcraft during the witch hunts of the 17th century. This article discusses her story, witchcraft. Isobel Gowdie, the renowned “Queen of Scottish Witches”, was a young Scottish housewife who was tried for witchcraft in Her detailed confession. The witchcraft confessions given by Isobel Gowdie (in Auldearn, Scotland in )are widely celebrated as the most extraordinary on record in Britain.

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Spooky Scotland has taken us to many haunted destinations. Well, thanks to books like the Malleus Maleficarum and Daemonologiewe know exactly what the examiners were looking for.

The Confession of Isobel Gowdie – The Mask of Reason

Witchcraft in Scotland When looking at the 16th and 17th centuries in England and Scotland as well as elsewhere in Europethe Christianity we know about from history books was mainly practiced by the elite.

This is standard fare in a witch trial. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Andrew Black and The Mask of Reason with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. This was seen as proof that the witch had entered into a pact with the Devil, getting powers to cause maleficium. This is the woman who gave the world the notion of a coven. This is feature allows you to search the site.

James was evidently a man with a keen intellectual curiosity in whatever topics were popular at the time.

Modern scholarship for the past century has tended to disregard the confessions of accused witches due to the fact that they were overwhelmingly elicited under torture. Voted way up and sharing, pinning. In Isobel Gowdie from Nairn confessed to having been baptised by the devil and joining a coven of 13 who met at night; she had journeyed to the centre of the earth to feast with the King and Queen of the fairies; she could fly, or become a hare, a cat or a crow; she used waxen images and bags of boiled toads to cause inflictions; she had killed a ploughman with elf-arrows the devil gave her; sometimes the devil beat her and raped her: Some articles have YouTube videos embedded gowdle them.


Since the confessions were transcribed by Robert Pitcairn and first published inbowdie have described the material as remarkable or extraordinary and scholars continue to debate the topic in the 21st century. It resolves on one note, in a massive crescendo to fffff which bears the hallmark of a similar motif in Alban Berg ‘s Wozzeck.

Isobel Gowdie – Wikipedia

A cunning person, also called wise men and isovel women, were folk healers in fact, the words witch and wizard are etymologically related to the word wise in the English language from the old Anglo-Saxon. It’s a tricky thing, the confessions. It is not mentioned if she had children, although it is recorded that she was married.

This would account for many of the things mentioned in Isobel’s testimony. We do know that Isobel Gowdie was a real person who was tried for witchcraft and we do have her confessions.

Anne’s vessel was forced to turn back and take refuge in Norway. Isobel was a young woman at the time of her trial.

Isobel Gowdie

Her confessions are generally consistent with the folklore and towdie of the trials of witches generally, but are more detailed than most, and often lively and fanciful to the point of poetry. Rental For Sale Online Score. Well, as discussed above, there were influential writings that circulated heavily among Church leaders and witch persecutors.


Perhaps the thing which sets Isobel apart from other witch trials of the time is the sheer volume of her confession. Isobel Gowdie and her husband lived in Loch Loy, some two miles north of Auldearn.

Witch Hunts in Scotland: Scottish Witch Isobel Gowdie and King James’ Role in Witch Trials

The execution would have been a public affair, with the whole community forced to attend. The Malleus Maleficarum was isobell most popular.

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The panel of interrogators felt gwodie was ample evidence to secure a conviction against Gowdie so they applied to the Privy Council in Edinburgh seeking a Commission of Justiciary for a local trial to be held.

It is likely that Isobel may have developed false memories of having performed some of the crimes alleged against her.

For example, old charms from the Medieval Period which once called upon the names of the old Pagan gods often carried over into the next era, but with the Pagan gods’ names swapped for Christian saints. She said that she had been initiated into the coven infifteen years earlier, and had risen to become the queen of the coven.

Extended sleep deprivation can lead to hallucinations, at which point the interrogators would take this as evidence that the accused was in isobell with the Devil.