On October 15th in 1674, the Torsåker witch trials begin (the largest single witch trial in Sweden) with 71 people (65 women and 6 men) beheaded and burned.
The main accusation against the suspected witches was that they had abducted children and taken them to Satan’s Sabbat at Blockula, the legendary meadow of Swedish folklore where the Devil held his Earthly court during a witches’ festival.
Most of the witnesses were children. Confessions were obtained through whippings, beatings, bathing them in an ice-cold lake, and threatening to roast them in ovens.
Jöns Hornæus, grandson of the priest who oversaw the trial, describes the execution in his book, where he wrote down the exact words of his grandmother, the eyewitness Britta Rufina: Then they began to understand what would happen.
Cries to heaven rose of vengeance over those who caused their innocent deaths, but no cries and no tears would help. Parents, men and brothers held a fence of pikes.