What was witchcraft in the Middle Ages?

Witches in the middle ages were people who were thought to be followers of the devil.

Most of the people in the Medieval period greatly feared these people as they thought they were the cause of thing such as: accidents, bad luck , illness of death. All these things are associated as being black magic. Because of this towns people were reclously accusing people of being a witch. Even the sweetest old women can be accused of being a witch just because the towns people found her creepy in some way.

There has said to be over 110,000 witch trials during 1450-1750 AD and 25,000 of them were men. If you don’t know the ratio of this, it means for everyone five men that were accused, eleven women were trialed,also out of all these people, half were found guilty and were killed. So that means that 52,000 were dead all because of some conspiracy theory. Some of those people were not even a witches. The justice system they had against witches were very pointless. most of the trials included torture and always eneded up with a damaged body at the end of the day.

The people who hated witches the most were mainly church people. If you’ve learnt about the feudalism levels of importance, you will see that the church and the pope was the most important kinds of people in medieval society. The influence the church brung to the witch hunt was massive. The whole town was turning against each other just because the church was afraid of a demon possessed person.

If it wasn’t for the church and their theory on witches, much more people would still be living in this world today because the search for witches would have been less serious and innocent lives would have been spared.


Author uknown,”witchcraft in the middle ages” , http://www.yesnet.yk.ca/schools/projects/middleages/witchcraft/witchcraft.html

Saldais,M. (2006) “Humanities Alive History”, Wiley


How bad was punishment in the Middle Ages?

When a person was found guilty of a certain crime, the person would be punished by experiencing torture. torture in the middle ages was the penalty for a break in medieval justice.

There were many different kinds of torture that provided a serious amount of pain, agony and humiliation. These range from small amounts of pain to death.The main point of torture was to scare and intimidate citizens into not breaking the law. It was also used for revenge and punishment. These treatments were  designed to enforce their rules or to get the truth out of someone.

If you were wondering how bad was the torture, the truth is that the torture was inhumane and deadly. An example of this is the Iron Maiden. The victim is placed in side a coffin that is filled with sharp metal spikes that are designed to thrust in the person’s body and will miss the vital organs to prolong the pain and agony of the victim. This is just one example of the heartless torture medieval folk would experience if they broke the law.

Compared to most civilizations during this time period. It was obvious to see that the punishment system the medieval town had offered were very wrong.

Medieval torture was stopped in 1640, hundreds of years after two speeches from the pope complaining about  the devilish ways the citizens used to get people to confess about the truth.


Author unknown, http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/middle-ages-torture.htm, “Middle Ages torture” Uknown date of publishment.

Smith.R, Young.D. “Humanities Alive HIstory 1”, Wiley