Start Date

10-4-2021 9:00 AM

End Date

10-4-2021 10:15 AM

Disciplines

History

Subjects

Witchcraft -- Scotland -- 17th century, Trials (Witchcraft) -- Scotland -- Bargarren -- History, Witchcraft -- Social aspects

Description

Debellatus, the 1698 account of a witchcraft trial in Bargarren, Scotland, suggests new interpretations of witchcraft epidemiology. From late 1696 through 1697 a young girl named Christian Shaw experienced fits, visions, trances, and even levitation. More interesting, and decidedly the more tactile, was her tendency to demonstrate her affliction by vomiting various items: pins, straw, warm coals, balls of hair, and pieces of dung. Previous scholarship has dubbed this phenomena Allotriophagy, linking it to compulsive consumption conditions like Pica, seemingly overlooking their presence in contemporary Scottish medical literature. Furthermore, coincident accounts of stagecraft reveal numerous techniques were being practiced to produce such effects, indicating a connection between visibility of stagecraft magicians and the types of symptoms manifested by the bewitched. While this by no means precludes the supernatural, or proves intentional deception, the lack of public performance culture adjacent to trials in other areas suggests a connection. The alternate term Allotrioemesis, suggested by this paper, shifts the focus away from the act of putting objects into the mouth, and toward the startling effect production has upon the spectator. This shift in terminology opens alternative avenues for tracing the development of symptoms, and their spread through populations.

PART OF SESSION 5B. WITCH TRIALS:

Comment: Theresa Earenfight, Seattle University
Chair: Charity Urbanski, University of Washington


Strangely Doesburg, Western Washington University, undergraduate student
“Allotrioemeis: Or, a Preposterous Preponderance of Pins Produced”

Ryan P. Mealiffe, University of Washington, undergraduate student
“Familiar Ecology: The Demonization of Spirit Knowledge in Early Modern England and its Ecological Ramifications”

Brooke Nicole Nicholson, Eastern Washington University, graduate student
“A ‘Confessed’ Witch: Tituba and Salem Witchcraft, 1692–1693”

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Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/35221

Included in

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Apr 10th, 9:00 AM Apr 10th, 10:15 AM

Allotrioemeis: Or, a Preposterous Preponderance of Pins Produced

Debellatus, the 1698 account of a witchcraft trial in Bargarren, Scotland, suggests new interpretations of witchcraft epidemiology. From late 1696 through 1697 a young girl named Christian Shaw experienced fits, visions, trances, and even levitation. More interesting, and decidedly the more tactile, was her tendency to demonstrate her affliction by vomiting various items: pins, straw, warm coals, balls of hair, and pieces of dung. Previous scholarship has dubbed this phenomena Allotriophagy, linking it to compulsive consumption conditions like Pica, seemingly overlooking their presence in contemporary Scottish medical literature. Furthermore, coincident accounts of stagecraft reveal numerous techniques were being practiced to produce such effects, indicating a connection between visibility of stagecraft magicians and the types of symptoms manifested by the bewitched. While this by no means precludes the supernatural, or proves intentional deception, the lack of public performance culture adjacent to trials in other areas suggests a connection. The alternate term Allotrioemesis, suggested by this paper, shifts the focus away from the act of putting objects into the mouth, and toward the startling effect production has upon the spectator. This shift in terminology opens alternative avenues for tracing the development of symptoms, and their spread through populations.

PART OF SESSION 5B. WITCH TRIALS:

Comment: Theresa Earenfight, Seattle University
Chair: Charity Urbanski, University of Washington


Strangely Doesburg, Western Washington University, undergraduate student
“Allotrioemeis: Or, a Preposterous Preponderance of Pins Produced”

Ryan P. Mealiffe, University of Washington, undergraduate student
“Familiar Ecology: The Demonization of Spirit Knowledge in Early Modern England and its Ecological Ramifications”

Brooke Nicole Nicholson, Eastern Washington University, graduate student
“A ‘Confessed’ Witch: Tituba and Salem Witchcraft, 1692–1693”