'We were so sickened by witch deaths, we've erected a memorial'

A SCOTTISH couple has erected a memorial to 22 "witches" killed when their hometown was convulsed by witch-hunting hysteria.

Selkies and kelpies: The fairytale degree

Postgraduate course in Scottish folklore to investigate country's ancient myths

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Scotland's last witch: Fraud or innocent victim of witch hunt?

TO HER supporters she was a hard-working housewife and mother whose ability to communicate with the spiritual world saw her persecuted and wrongly imprisoned.

Mouthy souls whose crime was to take stand

Pardoning 'witches' should recognise the torture that is still used by paranoid states today

Bond writer 'framed the last witch in Britain'

A HOUSEWIFE from Dundee who became the last woman to be jailed in Britain for witchcraft was framed by a team of British intelligence officers who worked with or for James Bond creator Ian Fleming, according to new research.

Pardon plea for last witch

A PETITION backing a pardon for the UK's last convicted witch has been launched by a Lothian village.

Potter avoids ban in libraries

HARRY POTTER books look set to stay on American school library shelves despite a campaign by some parents in the Deep South.

Fantasy writer walks free after porn trial

A BIZARRE world of paganism, magic spells and witches' curses at a Scottish farm has been exposed during the trial of an author charged with child porn offences.

Family vows to clear name of grandmother tried as witch

THE grand-daughter of the last person in Britain to be tried as a witch yesterday vowed she and her family would never give up the fight to clear her relative's name.

Rowling tops US library ban wish list over witchcraft fears

HARRY Potter creator JK Rowling has been voted the author Americans most want to ban from libraries over fears that her books promote witchcraft.

Witch pardoned 300 years after trial by water found her guilty

IT TOOK 300 years, but the only convicted witch from the American state of Virginia has finally been pardoned.

Grandmother accused of plotting murder

A GRANDMOTHER accused of conspiring to murder her partner yesterday told a court he was obsessed with the occult and hard-core pornography.

Scotland's Nostradamus and the Queen of the Fairies

SO BEGINS the ballad of the quaint 13th-century figure known as Scotland's Nostradamus and his enchantment by the Queen of the Fairies.

Wicca and witches in the west of Scotland

AT THIRTY-THREE, holistic therapist Pauline Reid feels her life has purpose.

Anomalies, forbidden science and a Fortean love story

THIS YEAR'S shindig for lovers of all things weird, the annual general meeting of the Fortean Times took place in London recently. The Unconvention (Uncon) meets once a year so that the motley gang of people interested in unusual and anomalous phenomena can gather together and share theories and ideas.

Scottish wizard who tutored the Pope

NOT MANY Scots appear in Dante's Inferno – that extraordinary 13th-century poem by Dante Alighieri depicting hell, purgatory and heaven. But there is one, deep down in the eighth circle of hell, undergoing gruesome torture and condemned to eternal torment amongst the other sorcerers. This Scot is none other than Michael Scott, scholar, tutor to the Pope and wizard.

Secrets below the streets of Edinburgh

BENEATH the streets of suburban Edinburgh lies a secret. An underground dwelling-place carved out of sandstone, Gilmerton Cove has remained unchanged for centuries, yet to this day no-one knows who built it and what it was for.

The mountain that made scientific history

SCHIEHALLION, with its distinctive conical summit visible from all over Perthshire, is one of Scotland's most celebrated mountains. Known as "the fairy hill of the Caledonians" in folklore, the mountain was also believed to hold magical powers and to stand in the centre of Scotland. Even a hardened sceptic, when presented with a map, would be forced to admit that it does sit almost bang smack in the middle of the country.

Every witch way

CHRISTINE Quick looks like a regular working mum. She drives a black Peugeot, runs a small business and wears bright, sensible clothes. The only hint that Quick might be involved in anything out-of-the-ordinary comes with a glimpse of the sticker affixed to the back of her car. 'Protected by Witchcraft', it says.

North Berwick and the brew of tortured witches

WHAT happened on Halloween 1590 in North Berwick is up for debate. What is certain is that the fragments of evidence handed down through centuries is a witches' brew of intrigue.

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