The Wise Woman’s Bedtime Prayer:
“Four newks in this house, for haly Angels,
A post in the midst, that’s Christ Jesus,
Lucas, Marcus, Matthew, Joannes,
God be into this house, and all that belongs us.”
They call this test Swimming the Witch or Trial by Water.
Thou shalt be bound up and thrown in the water while the townsfolk watch to see what happens.
If thou sink and drown – thou proves innocent.
If thou float it’s the sign of the witch – so thou shalt hang or burn!
For the ninth test, they’ll prick thee with a bodkin or a knife!
If thou feel no pain when poked –
or if thou fail to bleed –
or if that spot is cold to the touch –
they’ll claim that’s proof of witchcraft!
If thou are suspected of being a wise woman or cunning man, they may try WITCH WATCHING:
The townsfolk will keep thee awake
and watch to see if any familiar spirit pays a visit.
If a demon appears in animal form –
then thou is certain to be in league with Satan!
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
The sixth test is the LAYING ON OF HANDS.
If thou touch someone throwin’ a fit –
and they stop suddenly –
they’ll claim thou art the cause of the affliction!
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!