Forensic archaeologists at the University of Dundee used photos of Adie’s skull to create an image of what she might have looked like
University of Dundee
More than 300 years after her death, a village in Scotland is appealing for the return of the bones of a “witch” who was buried under a stone slab after she confessed to cavorting with Satan.
Lilias Adie died in a Dunfermiline gaol in 1704, possibly by suicide, before she could be tried.
She reportedly confessed to crimes of being a witch and having “sex with the devil”.
Picture: University of Dundee
Adie was buried on a beach in Torryburn, Fife, by locals who were so worried that she might “reanimate” and rise from her grave, that they buried her under a large stone. Despite this precaution, her skull and bones were removed from the burial site in 1852 by curio hunters.
Earlier this week, wreaths were laid in her memory by villagers and members of the Fife Witches who pledged their determination to find her bones.
Fife depute provost Julie Ford, who was at the memorial service, said:
It's important to recognise that Lilias Adie and the thousands of other men and women accused of witchcraft in early modern Scotland were not the evil people history has portrayed them to be, but were the innocent victims of unenlightened times.
It's time we recognised the injustice served upon them.
Historian Dr Louise Yeoman said:
Lilias is not forgotten, she has never been forgotten. We need to get her back. This has been a great injustice and we need to reverse that.
Adie’s skull ended up in the anatomical collection of St Andrew’s University, where it was photographed in 1904 before going missing along with the rest of her remains.
Forensic archaeologists at Dundee University have used photos of Adie’s skull to create an image of what she might have looked like.