The Falmouth police in 1845 arrested three women from the De Freez family for
assaulting a woman called Warne. They could have exonerated themselves
during the trial but the witnesses who had seen the assault would not appear
in court as they were afraid of the woman Warne saying that she was a witch
and would ill wish them. In another case in Cornwall a man was brought before
the court accused of beating his wife and of keeping her on rations of bread and water.
His defence was that his wife's sister had ill wished his pigs and he had beaten his
wife so that she would ask her to remove the curse!
A common way to remove a curse cast by a witch is to draw blood from her,
this will diminish her life force and her magical power would be destroyed.
The blood of the cursed person can also be used by placing it along with their urine,
hair, nails in a bottle; this is then heated over the fire making the witch writhe in agony
until she lifts the curse. Urine is a very good deterant against the evil eye, by sprinkling
it over the threshold to prevent the witch from entering or sprinkle it over the afflicted person.
If you were unable to lift the curse yourself then a 'pellar' would be consulted.
These people would roam the country offering love philtres, finding lost property and
countering the curses of witches. These pellars where also known as wise women or men,
conjurors or white wizards.
One of the objects that aided them in this was a ring made from a blue stone with
a yellow twisted line running through it; 'adder stone' or 'millpreve'. It was believed to
a remedy for snake bite, the stone was created from a hundred adders that gathered
to create the stone by hissing and spitting on a hazel wand.
Writen charms were also provided, written on parchment and worn around the neck.
The magic charm is made up of five words, each appearing four times as the rows were
read from top to bottom:
S A T O R
A R E P O
T E N E T
O P E R A
R O T A S
A sheeps head would be stuck all over with nails and roasted before a fire while the affected persons family would gather around it and chant:
It is not this heart I wish to burn
But the persons heart I wish to turn
Wishing them neither rest nor peace
Till they are dead and gone