Contours of the Witchcraze in France

The parliament in France was also utilized in witch trials, whereby the law was utilized to proof guilt and torture was employed because witch hunters deemed that the spirit of the witch could be viewed via this method. Perceptibly, if people accused of witchcraft were tortured, they would possibly confess to anything to end the torture. For instance, in Toulouse, Jehenne de Brigue was indicted of utilizing witchcraft to heal Jehan De Ruilly who was very sick and it was deemed that he was sick because a lover had cast a spell upon him. The accused rejected the charge but confessed that he used charms and forgot to say the Lord’s Prayer but she later admitted that she was a witch (Roper, 1997).

The most common method of witch hunting was ducking or swimming based upon the prehistoric torment of water, where the accused person’s foot and hand were tied and submerged in deep waters. Oldridge, (2002) notes that if the person floated, the water which was God’s creature had refused her and was believed to be guilty. If the person sank and drowned, she was regarded guiltless.

The accused person was also pricked in every part of the body with a sharp object in search for insensate blemishes where the devil had invisibly or visibly marked them. Other traditional tortures were also utilized to extract confessions and charges against collaborators, including leg vices, thumbscrews, and whipping with iron spikes (Oldridge, 2002)

The decline of witchcraze in France

Witch hunts and execution in France ended during the French revolution in 1789, after the revolution affirmed the detachment of ecclesiastic and secular powers. Witch hunts and trials stopped because individuals feared that guiltless persons were being executed, as witch trials turned out to be more rigorous which increased demand for evidence. People opposed use of torture to attain confession, not fundamentally because it was brutal but since it wasn’t a reliable manner of obtaining information. (Wright, 2005)

Judges also accepted confessions which were voluntary and not those attained through torture. Individuals also became cynical about the spectral evidence and others presumed witchcraft victims asserted of being tortured by spectres of the persons who bewitched them and because spectral verification was not sufficient enough to get a conviction, witch hunt fell down. Several protestant scholars alleged that famous beliefs on witches did not have recognition from the Bible.

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