PODCAST: The truth about Catalonia's witches and witch-hunts

Filling the Sink attempts to separate fact from fiction with the help of Sònia Casas from the history magazine Sàpiens 

At witch trials women were stripped and their bodies examined for the mark of the devil
At witch trials women were stripped and their bodies examined for the mark of the devil / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

April 10, 2021 06:56 AM

September 19, 2022 07:34 PM


Sònia Casas from the Barcelona-based history magazine Sàpiens joins Alan Ruiz Terol and Lorcan Doherty as they attempt to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the story of witch-hunts in Catalonia. 

The witch-hunt in Catalonia was one of the earliest and deadliest in Europe. Over a thousand people were sentenced for witchcraft, and now calls to revisit their stories are growing louder.

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As a recent Sàpiens issue dedicated to the subject of witch-hunts puts it: They weren't witches, they were women.

Following in the footsteps of several other countries in Europe, a campaign has been launched in Catalonia to right the historical wrongs suffered by women accused of being witches and to remember them as victims who were unjustly tried and - on many occasions - convicted to death by hanging.

Pau Castell, a historian at the University of Barcelona who has dedicated his career to studying witches, talks about the surprises he has discovered during his research.

Filling the Sink recreates the seventeenth-century trial of Elisabet Cerdana, which took place in the village of Castellterçol in central Catalonia. Starring, in order of appearance, Guifré Jordan, Cillian Shields and Scarlett Reiners.

Listen to more episodes of Filling the Sink below.