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  The Last Witch

The Witch's Stone dated 1722

In the garden of the last house in Carnaig Street in the Littletown area of Dornoch there stands a small stone marked with the year 1722. This is known as the Witch's Stone and marks the spot where the last execution in Scotland for witchcraft took place.

The year 1722 on the stone is incorrect as it was in fact in 1727 that Janet Horne met her fate on this spot. Despite being old and confused, her neighbours had accused her of using witchcraft to turn her daughter into a pony for the devil. The simple fact that Janet's daughter had a deformed hand may be the only reason why people accused her of this crime.

Janet and her daughter were imprisoned in Dornoch jail where they were both tried and found guilty of witchcraft. They were sentenced to death but the daughter managed to escape. Janet was not so fortunate. The day after sentencing she was stripped and rolled in tar. She was then placed in a barrel and taken in a procession to what is now Carnaig Street where she was burned alive, the last person in Scotland to suffer this fate.


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