Face Of 'Witch' Who Died In 1704 Digitally Reconstructed

maximus otter

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The face of an 18th-century "witch" who died in jail before she could be burned for her "crimes" has been digitally reconstructed. Lilias Adie, from Torryburn, Fife, died in 1704 while held in prison for her "confessed" crimes of being a witch and having sex with the devil.



BBC Radio Scotland's Time Travels programme has now unmasked her face by working with a forensic artist at the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at the University of Dundee.

The team believes it is likely to be the only accurate likeness of a Scottish "witch" in existence as most were burned, destroying any hope of reconstructing their faces from skulls.

Presenter Susan Morrison said: "It was a truly eerie moment when the face of Lilias suddenly appeared.

"Here was the face of a woman you could have a chat with, though knowing her story it was a wee bit difficult to look her in the eye."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/31/face-witch-died-1704-digitally-reconstructed/

maximus otter
 
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Old Master Q

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Oddly enough we have a programme on the river Forth in the planning stage, and the sad story of Lilias Adie glanced across my desk a few days ago as part of the research.

A minister by the name of Allan Logan (who deserves no reverence IMHO) held sway in the area during the late 1600s/early1700s and was responsible for 'witch fever' sweeping the place. Lilias was arrested in 1704, accused of being 'in compact with the devil'.

She actually confessed to having met the De'il himself, and described him as having 'a hat on his head and his feet were cloven'... Luckily for her she died in the jail at Torryburn before she could be transported to Dunfermline where she might have faced the 'standard' fate of being publicly burnt at the stake!

About 100 years after her death, her remains were dug up and her skull sold to a Joseph Paton of Dunfermline.

Paton allowed the skull to be examined by a Dr. W.B. Dow who, in 1884 delivered a lecture on the case to the Fife Medical Association. At this event he declared that the skull was so abnormally small that he was in no doubt she had a 'diseased brain'. ...In other words, what's been visualised here speaks to us of the sad tale of a no-doubt simple minded woman who was cruelly targeted by a particularly evil man to satisfy his own ends.

Truly tragic.
 
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