The representative of the Kirk looked on with admiration as Matthew Hopkins, Witch-finder General continued the the tour of his facility near Manningtree, Essex. If only we Covenanters could be so efficient, the dour Presbyterian thought to himself.
“And here you see the “awake room,” Hopkins said proudly. “We find that the Satanic Whores” need their dreams to commune with the Dark One. Once we deprive them of sleep their evil powers fade, and once in the presence of the true light they become repentant and confess.”
“And what is this wee pool,” the Scotsman asked.
“We find that dunking stools are of only limited value, so we have this deep troth. We throw them in and since they have rejected Christian baptism, the water rejects them and they come sputtering to the surface. It is a very accurate test of a witch,” the Witch-finder stated, as the Scot nodded.
“And here you see the inspection hut. Notice that there are plenty of windows, so the light will reveal even the faintest witch-marks, ” Hopkins continued. “We don’t want any mistakes. Just think, what if an evil hag escaped because we missed a wart, or an innocent was executed because of a little dirt? We are thorough here!”
“I don’t see any burning posts,” the Kirk-man observed.
“No, we English do things a little differently from up north, and on the Continent,” Hopkins said. “Unlike in your facilities, the witch doesn’t burn in this one. We hang them, they will burn soon enough when they arrive in hell.”
Apologies for the historical inaccuracy. Hopkins (Witch-finder General) was a real Puritan man who terrorised East Anglia in the period of the English Civil War. The methods described are fairly accurate, as is the fact that English “witches” were not burned. But he (Hopkins) never had a purpose built facility, nor is their any evidence that the Scots ever visited him in his persecution of outcast women.