Tried and executed for witchcraft in 1662, Gowdie is notable for her detailed confession, which she gave of her own volition, without being tortured like so many other women of the time. Gowdie was a young housewife living at Auldearn, Highland, Scotland. Her confessions about her coven’s activities, including their supposed ability to transform into animals, gave great insight into European folklore surrounding witchcraft at that time. She also claimed to be “entertained” by the Queen of the Fairies, in her home “under the hills.” Some speculate that Gowdie’s confession may have been the result of psychosis, or a ploy to get a more lenient sentence.
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