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Reference number: 8790

Date: 2012

Sponsor: [Paisley] Disability Resource Centre

Sound: sound

Colour: col

Fiction: fiction

Running time: 58.15 mins

Description: The Renfrewshire Witch Trials of 1697, made by the Paisley Disability Resource Centre.

Credits: photographer Jim Mitchell

Shotlist: The Renfrewshire Witch Trials of 1697. The year of 1697 will go down forever in infamy as the year of the Renfrewshire Witch Trials and how Paisley became "cursed". This is how the event is remembered today by some Renfrewshire residents. This Tondo (a circular piece of artwork) was placed on the site of the old horse shoe after it was damaged by traffic. The inscription reads "Pain Inflicted, Suffering Endured, Injustice Done". Artist Sandy Stoddart donated the Tondo in 2008. This is Betty 97 years young a resident of Hunterhill Care Home with her tale of Witches. Talking head. Christian Shaw was daughter to john Shaw Laird of Bargaran. Christian saw Katherine Campbell steal a glass of milk and reported her, the girl later cursed her. This was the start of this terrible tale. Talking head. On the 21st August, a well-known beggar called Agnes Naismith came to Bargarran and spoke briefly with Christian and her younger sister asking after their younger recently born sibling. The next night Christian went to be as usual, but while asleep began to struggle and shout out for help. It is said that she flew out of bed and that if she had not been caught she would have hit the wall with a great force. She was placed in another bed and remained it it, as if dead for 30 mins, and then awoke and could not sleep and had pain throughout her body, when she did try to sleep she became frightened and cried out for help. This was the start of many fits, convulsions and fighting with unseen enemies. This became somewhat of a spectator sport, and this was to culminate in 22 people being accused of witch craft of which 7 were executed. Talking head. The two young brothers, James and Thomas Lindsay, were not executed tey were deemed to be too young to stand trial. Those executed were John (alias the Bishop) and James Lindsay (alias the Curate), Agnes Naismith, Margaret Fulton, Katherine Campbell, and John Lindsay of Barloch. Agnes Naismith fiercely laid a "dying woman's curse" on all present; according to eyewitness accounts, a solitary raven settled briefly on the scaffolding above ger hanging convulsing body. Margaret Fulton appeared to have lost what few wits she ever had and talked cheerfully about being carried off to elf land on fiary horses. The tow older Lindsay brothers, John and James were, at theur own request, hung together and clasped each other's arms. Katherine Campbell, the Shaw's maid, who had unwittingly started the whole affair, made the crowd gasp in mixed horror and admiration. Refusing to go quietly, she was dragged screaming and struggling to the scaffolding, she also cursed her persecutors. Talking head. Beliefs and Superstitions. Talking Head. Now we have Helen a 92 years young also a resident of Hunterhill Care Home with her story. Talking Head. The so called "Witches" were hanged their bodies burned the ashes buried at the cross roads the horse show placed on top. Talking Head. Arthur from the Magic of Words Group will now read his poem about the Witches. Talking Head. Now Stephen with some interesting facts. Talking Head. Now Kay with her recollections. Talking Head. This is how some of the people of Paisley came to believe the curse had been fulfilled after the horse show was disturbed in the 1960's. Talking Heads. The Roots factory in Linwood closed followed by India Tyres. Talking Heads. View of the Hillman Imp in the Glasgow Transport Museum. talking Heads. Advert for Hillman Imp. Talking heads. Coats Thread Mills closed with the knock-on effect on Brown & Polson the starch maker. Talking Heads. Spool cotton advert. Talking heads. Brown 7 Polson's corn flour box. Talking Heads. The shop closure in the Town Centre. The cinemas gone, No more dancing, skating even the pubs are closing one by one. Talking Heads. the death of shipbuilding. Talking head. We asked 200 people the following questions: 1. Do you know why there is a horseshoe at the crossroads of Maxwellton and George Street in Paisley. 2. Have you heard the story that if the horseshoe was ever moved from it's original spot, Paisley would decline? 3. Do you believe that there us a "curse" on Paisley? We collated the following statistics. View of a graph. On Saturday 16th June 2012 a re-enactment of the Trial took place in Paisley town centre. Footage of the re-enactment. Arthur reads his poem and ends to rapturous applause. The Parade of the Witches begins. Footage of the parade through the own centre. The Introduction The re-enactment begins. The "curse" that started it all. Re-enactment. The Trial. Re-enactment. So the seven were taken executed an their ashes buried at the Cross Roads. A sad tale but if we look back on our own times people have been accused some time unjustly. Although we no longer burn them at the stake the injustice still lives on. As to the Horseshoe it is a matter for you to decide whether it was the shoe being lifted that caused Paisley's decline or just the ffinancial state of the country. Perhaps someday Paisley will recover and live up to its name as Scotland's "Biggest Town". I would like to thank all the poele who took part in this DVD. They are too numerous to be name individually. I would just like to say A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL. THE END.