Maggie Wall—The Witch Who Never Was

Maggie Wall

Geoff Holder

£2.80 (price varies from shop to shop)

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It is one of the most astonishing monuments in the British Isles, never mind Scotland. Deep in the Perthshire countryside stands a cairn of boulders topped with a tall, spindly cross, the stones painted with the stark words:

MAggie Wall
burnt here
1657 as a Witch

There is nothing like it anywhere: a historic monument to a named witch. There is, it is true, the occasional plaque here and there in Scotland to the events of the witchcraft era; but these are modern remembrances, created out of modern sensibilities. The Maggie Wall monument, by contrast, is old.

And it is mysterious. Questions abound. Who was Maggie Wall? What happened to her? Why, of all the witches executed, does she alone have a monument? Why is there a cross on the top? Is the monument a sepulchre (that is, it marks a place of burial) or a cenotaph (a memorial without a grave)? Who built it? When? And why?

Geoff Holder digs deep to find answers.

Geoff-Holder332x500

A Welshman with an English accent and a French wife, Geoff Holder likes dogs, cats, museums and music with rocks in, and despises cigarettes and mayonnaise. When not writing about poltergeists, demonology or murders, he can be found walking the dog in the peaceful countryside, and reading bande dessinées.

Moving from Scotland to sunny France hasn’t made him any less grumpy, but that’s life when you’re a curmudgeonly old git.

Geoff has written 30 non-fiction books on the paranormal, the peculiar, the Gothic and the gruesome, from “The Jacobites and the Supernatural” and “101 Things to Do with a Stone Circle” to “Scottish Bodysnatchers” and nine titles in “The Guide to the Mysterious…” series, covering everywhere from the Lake District and Loch Ness to Glasgow and Aberdeen.

Plus, there are books on hauntings, the paranormal, ‘bloody history’ – you know, the good stuff. He once won a posh literary award by writing about H.P. Lovecraft.

You can find out more about Geoff Holder on his website:

 

www.geoffholder.com