OLD DEMDIKE – A WITCH’S TESTIMONY
September 19, 2018
The Witch Test: Seven
The seventh test they’ll try is PRICKING THE WITCH!
If thou has a birth mark, flea bite, spot, or scab – they’ll say it’s where the devil suckles.
It’s the sign of a pact made with Satan.
If they prick it, thou will feel no pain and neither shalt thou bleed!
Photo: T. H. Matteson
September 12, 2018
The Witch Test: Six
The sixth test is the LAYING ON OF HANDS.
If thou touch someone throwing a fit –
and they stop suddenly –
they’ll claim thou art the cause of their affliction!
September 05, 2018
The Witch Test: Five
The PRAYER TEST is the hardest.
If thou can’t recite the Lord’s Prayer correctly –
without any error or stumbling –
thou must be a witch indeed!
August 29, 2018
The Witch Test: Four
Does thou send forth a ghost in SPECTRAL FORM?
If a familiar spirit –
or spectral self –
or apparition from thee is seen by the villagers . . .
then thou art a witch!
August 22, 2018
The Witch Test: Three
Have thou got any TOOLS OF THE CRAFT?
If thou make ointments, poisons, and herbals –
Or fashion wax dolls into likenesses –
Or learn from spell books and magic charts –
Aye, then they’ll claim thou are truly a wizard or witch!
August 15, 2018
The Witch Test: Two
If folk think thou are a witch –
and thou make a free and voluntary confession to that effect –
then thou art indeed a witch.
August 08, 2018
The Witch Test: One
There’s ten ways folks use to determine if thou be a witch ’round here. The first is CAUSING FITS.
If a villager behaves moonstruck and odd whenever close by,
then the finger will point at thee!
August 01, 2018
From my voluntarie Confession and Examination (April 2, 1612)
“Richard Baldwyn sayd get out of my ground Whores and Witches, I will burne the one of you, and hang the other.
To whom [I] answered: I care not for thee, hang thy selfe.
Presently whereupon . . . going ouer the next hedge, the said Spirit or Diuell called Tibb appeared . . .and [I] sayd, Revenge thee of him.
[I] sayd againe to the said spirit Revenge thee eyther of him, or his.
And so the said Spirit vanished . . . and [I] neuer saw him since.”
Source: Potts, Thomas. The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster, 1613.
July 25, 2018
My Devil Tibb: Part Two
I only saw Tibb a few sundry times over the next five or six years. He always came at the Daylight Gate and asked what I bid.
“Naught,” said I, for I wanted nothing from him yet.
Then one Sabbeth morn he appeared in the likeness of a brown dog, jumped straight in my lap, and suckled from a spot beneath my left arm. It hurt like the devil and I cried out, “Jesus! Save us all!”
Then I fell into a madness, or so they tell me.
All I recall is wandering in purgatory for nigh-on eight weeks, while the spirits of darkness whispered their secrets and my true self came to the fore.
I awoke no longer as Elizabeth Southerns. I’d become the wise Old Demdike.
July 18, 2018
My Devil Tibb: Part One
I first met Tibb nigh-on twenty years ago, near Gouldshey stone-pit. He came to me in the shape of a lad, dressed up all fancy in a black and brown coat. I thought he was some young master who’d got himself lost ’til he beckoned me over and demanded, “Give me thy soul!”
“Why would I do that?” I asked him, staring at the face of a fallen angel.
“If ye do, thou can have all thy wants,” says he.
I thought on his words and requested he utter his name.
“Tibb,” he told me – and I knew then it was a spirit or devil stood afore me.
I pondered the offer. Such a promise was mighty tempting indeed – and so I verily agreed.