Scottish Witches Pardoned

A township in Scotland celebrated Halloween by officially pardoning 81 people — and their cats — executed for witchcraft in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The ceremony took place at a baronial court in Prestonpans, an area known for having a large share of the 3,500 Scots killed during a time of political and religious excess.

'"Most of those persons condemned for witchcraft within the jurisdiction of the Baron Courts of Prestoungrange and Dolphinstoun were convicted on the basis of spectral evidence — that is to say, prosecuting witnesses declared that they felt the presence of evil spirits or heard spirit voices," the court said in its written findings.'