The Torsåker Witch Trials
When it comes to the horrors of witch hunts and trials around the world, Sweden is not often cited as one of the more aggressive or egregious nations. Nevertheless, the Torsåker Witch Trials remain a shocking example of religious hysteria due to the way in which they unfolded, which included local leaders defying the Swedish Crown and taking it upon themselves to identify, try, and execute supposed witches without proper authority. Moreover, while the Torsåker case may have unfolded like most others across Europe, it remains an outlier in that those responsible for starting the hysteria weren’t just held accountable for their false accusations but were in fact murdered.
Thank you to the lovely David White, of Bring Me the Axe podcast, for research assistance :)
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Tiderman-Österberg, Jennie. 2021. "The Swedish Witch Trials: How to Confront Dark Heritage." Smithsonian Magazine, October 25.