Burgh seeks views on witch memorial

Len Low
Len Low

THE people of Pittenweem are being asked if they support a memorial to those who were brutally murdered after being accused of witchcraft.

The village has a sorry history of witchcraft trials, with numerous men and women tortured in the Tolbooth and then killed.

Pittenweem’s trials have been recounted by historian Len Low in his book ‘The Weem Witch’, where he lays the blame firmly at the feet of the church ministers of the 17th and 18th centuries.

No official memorial to anybody killed following accusations of witchcraft has been allowed anywhere in Scotland.

However, the first steps have been taken in this area, with Pittenweem Community Council asking residents of they would support the gesture in a survey.

Len said: “This is an excellent gesture to give the people of Pittenweem a choice in the matter of a memorial to the 26 locals who were cut down by the church.

“These people were betrayed and murdered, for money, because of petty arguments, because they were unusual in some way, or just to fill the church coffers.

“They were Pittenweem people.

“This could be the first time in Scotland, maybe even Britain, where the people have joined together to erase the sins of the past and remembered the few who suffered so badly.

“Wouldn’t it be a gesture for the church in Pittenweem, which sent these people to death, to dig deep in its funds to contribute to the memorial?”

“Jesus was supposed to say ‘forgive our sins’. In my opinion, it’s time to practise what you preach.”

The community council told the Mail it would prefer not to comment on the issue until all the questionnaires have been gathered back. Everybody filling out a questionnaire is being asked to have them returned to various drop-off points around Pittenweem before Sunday.