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Stop 3: Janet Wishart (died 1597), Mercat Cross, Castlegate

Historic Photographs
David Oswald
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Historic Photographs Details
Here in the Castlegate a group of witches were accused of dancing and playing musical instruments in the presence of the devil between the Flesh Cross and Fish Cross at midnight on Halloween 1596. Between 1596-1597 in Aberdeen 22 women and one man were executed for having been found guilty of being witches. Janet Wishart and her family were the main focus of the witch hunting frenzy. Janet by all acounts was a forceful, ill-tempered woman with a sharp tongue. Janet was charged with over 30 dittays (indictments) going back 24 years. Janet spoke out at her trial but was never going to prove her innocence. Janet was sentenced to be burnt unto death which was unusual as witches were usually sentenced to be strangled and then their dead bodies burnt.
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