Witchcraft Beliefs & The Witch Trials

The Survey of Scottish Witchcraft Database

The Survey of Scottish Witchcraft Introduction/Overview

The Survey of Scottish Witchcraft Futher Reading

The Survey of Scottish Witchcraft Additional Links

“Tales of witchcraft: Witch-hunting in the Kirkcaldy kirk session minutes” – a brilliant, thorough article that outlines the history, judicial process, expenses etc really well. The case they highlight is a typical one too – being seen as “quarrelsome”, not getting on with your neighbours etc was something that very commonly got people, mostly women, accused. (Very few of the accused were healers/midwives/magical practitioners & none of them were witches or pagans). From Scotland’s People.

Witches of Scotland – an excellent, factual podcast & current campaign for an official pardon for those falsely convicted of witchcraft, an apology for those accused, a national monument & potentially a museum. You can also follow them on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.

“Witch Hunt” – another great, factual podcast on the Scottish Witch Trials (2019, 7 episodes)

Borders Bletherings Podcast with historian & author Mary Craig – episode 2: “Witches” explains witchcraft accusations in the Scottish Borders as well as how patriarchy affected how those accusations played out

Histories of the Witch Trials – report published in Oct 2021, now available to the public online, made by Dr Ciaran Jones for NTS giving details on NTS properties with known connections to the Early Modern Witch Trials, as well as some background/terminology info at the end

Rowan and Red Thread – what “witch” traditionally means in Gaelic culture (See Blog post with summary here)

The Meaning of the Word “Witch” – changing definition of the word over time, plus popular vs elite views (See Blog post here)

Folk Magic vs Witchcraft – great article from The Cailleach’s Herbarium

Witchcraft & Demonology in Scotland – University of Glasgow

“Witches in Scottish Literature” – learning resource with info & some questions to think about at the end of each source, from the National Library of Scotland

Witchcraft and belief in Early Modern Scotland (2008) edited by Julian Goodare, Lauren Martin & Joyce Millar Link to site where you can see the contents, the authors involved etc as it’s a collection of papers that have also be published individually

Differences in Belief, Law etc between the Scottish & English Witch Trials (Older article – Christina Larner, 1981)

“Witches, Pagans and Historians. An Extended Review of Max Dashu, Witches and Pagans: Women in European Folk Religion, 700–1000” Hutton (2016) (See blog post here)

“Who Burned the Witches?” – a scholarly article outlining the role of the Catholic Church during the European Witch Trials. While Scotland was obviously Protestant at this time and so the persecution wasn’t carried out by Catholics, it’s still useful to compare our history with what was happening in other countries that also had these trials

The Scottish Witch Trials topic tag – for articles etc I’ve written for this site: for example on Witch Trials that took place in my hometown of Paisley, the Witches of Scotland campaign for justice progress updates etc