Outlander Season 1. Were Claire Fraser and Geillis Duncan witches? Weren’t they? Today, seven ways to identify a witch.
1.- The witch hunt reached its zenith with the Spanish Inquisition in the 16th and 17th centuries. They use only one method to obtain their confessions: dislocate their bones until they pleaded guilty. Of course, it was only a matter of patience to get the confession of the poor witch (men were also persecuted.)
2.- But before the Spanish Inquisition were created, the witch hunt existed and it was not always supported by the Catholic Church or by the governments. Different Popes tried to prevent unfair suspicions (for example Gregory VII in 1080), and in UK, The Final Act of 1735 led to prosecution for fraud rather than witchcraft or traffic with Satan.
3.- However, during the Middle Ages to be redhead, to have physical deformities or ‘peculiar’ marks on the body could be dangerous. People were illiterate and superstitious and in times of crop failure and plagues, they looked for people who was causing the misfortune.
4.- The Devil’s Mark could be a mole, a scar… Claire Fraser (actress Caitriona Balfe) and Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) had a smallpox vaccine mark. Yes… ridiculous as well as tragic!
5.- Usually tests were painful. For example, they put a hot iron in her hand. If she did not burned, she was innocent … But there was hardly ever!
6.- Other tests were less painful. For example, to check if they can say the Lord’s Prayer.
7.- But maybe the most common test was this: the victim was trussed up with her right thumb tied to her left big toe and vice versa. Then, with a rope around her waist she was tossed into a pond or river. If she floated, she was a witch, if she sank she could be hauled out and saved… If they had time!
I’m still sad about Geillis Duncan’s destiny. She was one of my favorite characters! Do you think she has truly died? Will she be in 1968 again? Tell us your opinion now!