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In 1661-2 Scotland was in the throes of its biggest witch-hunt ever. The sight of a witch-pricker plying his trade, searching for the devils mark - the sign that a Devil had accepted a woman as a witch - had become a ghastly sensational sight that was no longer rare. These highly-paid men plunged long pins into terrified shaven-headed women in church yards and tolbooths up and down the land - for a stiff fee. In the audience of such a shocking performance at Newburgh in Fife was a woman who thought something like - 'That's easy money, I could do that.' Meet Christian Caddell - the woman who dressed as a man to hunt witches.

She de-camped to Inverness and re-invented herself as 'John Dickson - witch pricker'. She was so convincing she was given an expensive and exclusive contract to hunt witches in Moray. There followed a reign of terror in which the female witch pricker found suspect after suspect - torturing and humiliating dozens of innocent people - but did she come face to face with Scotland's most famous witch - Isobel Gowdie? Susan Morrison and Louise Yeoman join Moray historians Sarah Fraser and John Barrett to find out.

28 minutes

Last on

Mon 26 Nov 2012 00:02
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