The story of "Europe's last witch" is dramatic. In 1781 in the Swiss canton of Glarus the young daughter of a high-ranking citizen began to suffer pains and fits, caused, so it was claimed, by pins and needles magically placed in her milk and bread. The middle-aged maidservant of the family was accused and terminated from her position. She fled, but the child continued to suffer and warrants were issued for the maid's arrest. She was returned to Glarus, accused of being in league with Satan, put on trial, and tortured. Authorities enjoined her to perform magical healing rites, which supposedly cured the child, but this only further incriminated her. She was beheaded on June 13, 1782. Almost immediately, journalists in Germany picked up the story, decrying Glarus for its backwardness in executing a woman for witchcraft in a time of Enlightenment. In actuality, the term "witch" was never officially used in the case, but certainly the process against Anna Göldi followed the form of a witch trial.
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