The Torryburn witch

Face of 18th-Century Torryburn Witch Revealed in Digital Reconstruction

The face of a Scottish woman accused of witchcraft has been revealed 313 years after her death.
The digitally reconstructed face of Lilias Adie, the Torryburn witch
The digitally reconstructed face of Lilias Adie

Lilias Adie confessed to witchcraft and sex with the devil, but she died in prison in 1704 before she could be burned at the stake. Now, thanks to BBC Radio Scotland’s Time Travels and researchers at the University of Dundee, her face has been digitally reconstructed and revealed for the first time.

Adie was buried on the beach of the south west Fife coast in the muck between the high and low tide. A large stone slab was placed over her grave to prevent the devil from donning her rotting corpse and cavorting about having sex with witches.

There she was forgotten for over a hundred years until some locals in the late 19th century dug her up to sell pieces of her to local antiquarians.

Her skull went to St Andrews University Museum, where it was eventually lost. But not before it could be photographed. Dr Christopher Rynn used these photos to create the digital replica used in the facial reconstruction.

Read more the project right here

The grave of Lilias Adie, the Torryburn Witch
The grave of Lilias Adie discovered in 2014

In 2014 researchers rediscovered the grave of the Torryburn witch.

3 replies
  1. Avatar
    Carol says:

    Nonsense! Likely she was tortured to say that or did it to scare the “Be-Jesus” out of them! Not all of Scottish or Celtic witches were “devil worshhippers”. Many were Wiccans, one of the kindest religions in the world… and still practiced. Blessed be.

    • Avatar
      Jamie says:

      And these brave souls were usually medical practitioners, more than anything, helping with child birth and herbal remedies. We should celebrate this discovery!

    • Avatar

      Anyone who knows anything about Wicca will know that it was set up in the 1950s after the abolition of the Witchcraft act, by Gerald Gardner. Therefore she certainly wasn’t practicing Wicca in the early 1700s. She was likely innocent, but Wicca isn’t the answer.


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