Grave of the Torryburn Witch Found in Scotland

 

In 1704, an old poor woman in Torryburn, Scotland named Lilias Adie confessed to being a witch and having sex with the devil. She died in prison, however, before she could be tried, sentenced and burned at the stake.

She was buried in the muck of the coast with a large rock slab over her, most likely to prevent her corpse being reanimated by the devil to have sex with other witches.

Sometime in the late 19th century, her skull and other bits were dug up and sold. Her skull ended up in the St Andrews University Museum, where it was photographed before being lost, much like the grave itself.

The skull of the Torryburn witch stolen on display in the St Andrews University Museum

Though the location of Lilias’ skull remains a mystery, the BBC reports that Fife Council archaeologist Douglas Speirs and his crew recently discovered the grave by following 19th century descriptions of the location. Speirs says it is likely some of the witch’s remains may still be found beneath the stone slab.

Recent: Face of the Torryburn witch revealed in digital reconstruction

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Evonne Jansen Talbird
6 years ago

So, let me guess. She was tortured until she gave confession. Yeah, torture me enough, I’ll confess to being the second gunman on the grassy knoll.

Jim Petrie
Jim Petrie
2 years ago

you should never tell anyone to get over it you should help them get through it

Jan
Jan
2 years ago

I read the article, because I stumbled upon it on Pinterest and was intrigued by the title. After reading all of the comments, I couldn’t help but think that poor Lilias doesn’t even have peace in death. Here we are in a new millennium and people continue to put her on trial. Best thing we can do is let this go and bury our hatchet with poor Lilias. Lets be kinder to one another starting now. Haven’t we learned anything from these witchcraft accusations in days of old that were more often baseless and s very cruel that they ruined… Read more »

Angela
Angela
2 years ago

D.R. Marks, Well Said!! Thank you for being a quiet voice of reason, tolerance and acceptance.

Felix Hummel
Felix Hummel
4 years ago

That surely doesn’t look like the skull of an old woman. That’s a young person for sure. The teeth are almost complete, just some lost post mortem and no sing of periodontal disease.

R1ck
5 years ago

No 1. [email protected]# religion, I’m nice to people because I want to be not because a fairy tale tells me to. No2. This is why I want to be buried. After I’ve given my whole body to donation so I can live on that bit longer. Bury me shallow and somewhere in the way, after the rats have knawed on my bones some kids might find my skull sticking out and nick it! Then have a good kick about. After finding it’s not a football with fillings they’ll take it to some gypsies who’ll cut a hole in the top… Read more »

neily
neily
6 years ago

She fucked the Devil! Hell mend her.

mindsurfer1
6 years ago

She’s dead and has been for many years. Get over it. We have people dying in horrendous ways today due to religion.

Maura
Maura
6 years ago

What makes me wonder is this: ~Who~ claimed it to be her skull and where is the proof of it? Was her head removed before interment, to be buried elsewhere? Did someone claim it as such to gain notoriety? No one should rob a grave for any reason, but this disturbs me greatly. If it is her skull, I feel sorry for her, poor lady.

James C. Cardwell
6 years ago

Here come the Christian soldiers all dressed in Red and White, a plague of idiots blinded by their faith.

Steve Wilson
Steve Wilson
6 years ago

Old women often occupied land that the greedy coveted, and may even have been kept by “the parish” – essentially living off charity. The easiest way to get rid of them was to accuse them of witchcraft. I am a pagan of of over 35 years standing and I long ago stopped recuiting old dead Christian women to my faith through a distorted view of history and a perverted desire to make my beliefs seem more valid because they are old. The pagan revival began in recent decades, the Druid revival in just the last couple of centuries, and these… Read more »

Stacy
Stacy
6 years ago

Pagans crack me up. Do you honestly think these poor people had access to multi colored little candles, statues of Isis, sage bundles, or made wands with jewelry hanging off them? What remained of any sort of “paganism” was simple folk medicine or sympathetic magic like water witching. These people of 1500 to 1700 were long past remembering any gods or goddesses. Brigid would be bout the only one because she was enveloped into Christianity. This woman was most assuredly a Christian who confessed because you had a better chance of surviving if you confessed. Scotland’s witch trials made Salem… Read more »

muffdvr
muffdvr
6 years ago

Im with ozma, buttholes should have respect for the dead and not mess with graves

Janette
Janette
6 years ago

Can I suggest a humanist burial? Religion or faith or belief – whatever you want to call it – plays no part.

sue thomas
6 years ago

Horrendous way for anyone’s remains to be treated,hope they find the rest of the skeleton and perhaps she could have a beautiful pagan funeral xx

Monica
Monica
6 years ago

Maybe Christian to others by label, but I bet in her heart & soul she still knew who she was, hence, the jail time….

Ian shedden
Ian shedden
6 years ago

We have ways of making you talk!

Ozma
Ozma
6 years ago

So sad for the poor woman. All of her remains need to be found and she needs to be given a respectable burial, whatever that may be, and she should be left in peace. Also, her story should be told lest we forget the lessons from our past.

William mcgovern
William mcgovern
6 years ago

Is that at the ness?

Pete
Pete
6 years ago

I studied life of Lilly for adult learning project, she was badly treated, glad her grave was found again, I hope one day she gets a Christian Burial x

eternalwytch
6 years ago

Men got their jollies from torturing women, after all, women were just chattel back then,