Malin Matsdotter | Witchcraft and Witch-hunts. Sinister Cases from the Past

Malin Matsdotter

Matsdotter, a supposed Swedish witch of Finnish descent, was accused of witchcraft and of abducting children to the Witches' Sabbath of Satan in Blockula, a legendary meadow where the devil held his earthly court during a witches' Sabbath. Matsdotter was accused by her daughters of abducting their children, her grandchildren, to be used in the Witches’ Sabbath. She was found guilty and sentenced to be burned alive because of her refusal to admit her guilt. The sentence was rare at the time because witches in Sweden were normally executed first, usually by decapitation, and then burned. At the stake, she once again stated her innocence. When one of her daughters called out from the audience for her to admit her crimes to save her soul, "She gave her daughter into the hands of the devil and cursed her for eternity". After this, the fire was lit. Apparently, she showed no signs of pain and died silently, without screaming, another proof of her guilt in the minds of her judges and accusers, as it was believed that witches could not feel pain. Soon thereafter, the witnesses, her daughters included, were re-examined at the behest of some skeptical judges and soon recanted. They were all executed for their perjury, a fitting revenge for a witch.

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