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  • Earliest Ordeal: Drowning March 4, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
    Earliest Ordeal: Drowning

    What is the earliest ordeal in history? Well, there were probably games involving Paleolithic ne’er-do-wells and mammoths, but the earliest recorded ordeal in history? There are some hypotheses about drinking ancient poisons (drugs?), in the near east: though to Beach this sounds more like an execution and it is, in any case, a hypothesis. However, […]

    Ritual Murders in Nyasaland November 26, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Ritual Murders in Nyasaland

    The following was a written answer given in a written exchange in the British parliament 13 March 1962. At this date Nyasaland (aka Malawi) was a British territory and would be for another two years. (In the postwar period the British government was often put under pressure over the question of responsibility for colonial possessions […]

    Weighing Witches April 16, 2013

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
    Weighing Witches

    ***dedicated to Theo*** How do I know if, c. 1750, old Mother Shipley down the road is a witch. Obviously the dying chickens, my children’s illnesses, the unpleasant cackling, the noises in the night are all clues… But we are in the eighteenth-century so how do we introduce science into this? In other ages witches […]