Between 1560 and 1727, about three thousand and five hundred women in Scotland were accused of being witches bringing evil to the region and doomed to execution. Sadly, this witch-hunting craze likely resulted from a local illness that was deeply misunderstood at the time.
Nevertheless, countless residents fell victim to misguided arrests, which led to the maltreatment and death of numerous women– one of which being elder Lilias Adie.
She was from Torryburn, Fife, and, while in her late fifties or early sixties, had been imprisoned after allegedly confessing to crimes of witchcraft. Lilias’ accusers even claimed to have seen her fornicating with Satan.
However, historians believe that Lilias’ confessions were coerced and revealed that she even courageously warded off accusers by coming up with creative excuses as to why she could not share the names of other witches.
Lilias knew that if she gave up those names, more people would die. So, she remained under interrogation and all of its cruelties in hopes of saving others.
Written records from the time do indicate that Lilias was an aging, frail woman who likely had failing eyesight, though. So, after undergoing so much harsh treatment, she eventually could not take it anymore.
Lilias sadly ended up taking her own life while in prison in 1704 before the government ever could.
Nonetheless, her remains were still tied and burned at the stake before they were buried on a Torryburn, Fife, beach.
But, the locals were still so worried that Lilias might “reanimate” from the dead. So, they actually buried her under a large stone slab in hopes of weighing her down.