Agnes Sampson, (Scottish, d. January 28, 1591)

Agnes SampsonAgnes Sampson was a Scottish healer and midwife known as the “wise wife of Keith.” After James VI married Anne of Denmark and returned from Oslo, he brought with him the fear of black arts. Agnes was accused and 55 charges were made against her: raising the devil in the form of a black dog, digging up bones to make magic witchcraft powder, and commanding the devil to destroy one of James’ ships.

Interrogated by the king himself, she was deprived of sleep, subjected to barbaric torture for days and under extreme duress she confessed. She was found guilty at her trial stripped, shaved and strangled. Then burned at the stake on January 28, 1591 at Castle Hill, Edinburgh. The naked ghost of Agnes is said to roam Holyrood Palace.