Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Witch Piercer of Smallhopes Hill


 I've already introduced you to the Witch Wringers, but there are more horrors than just those infernal devices (no relation, all though this one is) on Smallhopes Hill in Overstrand. May I present: the Witch Piercer.
 This ghastly torture instrument is basically a compression coil spring that was released into the accused witch upon judgement during the witch trial. 
 The Witch Piercer originated from the witchfinder's traditional pin, but after a couple of centuries of just annoying suspected witches by poking them with a small dressmaking pin, it evolved into the despicable gut-twisting mechanism you see before you. Only a lot less rusty.


This example on Smallhopes Hill, Overstrand, is stuck in its extended "sprung" position, having been stretched out following its decommissioning and left to rust in place. The rest of the mechanism is likely buried under the centuries of decomposed vegetation that makes up some of the hill.

Boiiing! "Ooh, you could have someone's eye out with that!"

A little WD-40 will bring this up a treat!
 Unlike, the Witch Wringers, this 'Piercer has been used on an actual witch (as well as mere civilians). After a little research, I discovered that Hilda Beebee of Shuck Lane, was accused and found guilty in the Autumn of 1692. She was set before the 'Piercer as soon as the guilty judgment was made, and violently impaled upon the sharpened coil when it was released.
 Needless to say, she was a bit cross, especially as she hadn't been allowed to change out of her good frock first which was torn and bloodied when the coil plunged into her. Not letting a little thing like sudden and somewhat explosive evisceration hamper her, Beebee struck down the witchfinder, the judge, and the mayor, before returning to her cottage. Onlookers report hearing Beebee muttering to herself as she hobbled home about having to boilwash her frock and the difficulties of threading a needle to repair it due to her failing eyesight.
 ~
 
Completely unrelated to the Witch Piercer except for the fact that this hypersonic wing-inspired sigil is located nearby on Smallhopes Hill

25 comments:

  1. A sensible precaution would be to get a Tetanus vaccination before tangling with the Witch Piercer. Unless one is one of those anti-vaxers, of course.

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    1. I don't think we have anti-vaxers in the UK? If we do, they keep very quiet about it.

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  2. Oh my goodness! When we had the lie down, I'm glad you decide to leave the Piercer at home. How Morris. But fascinating.

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    1. Well, I wasn't quite sure if you'd have enjoyed having that poked into you?

      And, "Morris"? Is that something to do with infernal Morris Dancing, or did your spellcheck/predictive text decided Morris was more likely than Morbid?

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    2. yes dear, I hate spell check. it was to be morbid, how morbid. The witch piercer that is. Not the lie down.

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    3. I actually quite like "How Morris" now, and may use it in future. YOu may have started a trend!

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  3. My first thought upon seeing the screw, 'It's the corkscrew of the gods! I'd like to see the titanic wine bottle that giant corkscrew opens.'

    My initial thought after reading this post & learning about witch finder kits & torture methods, 'This gives a whole new meaning to screwing someone over.'

    You know, most public art is most of the world is usually abstract & the only pain would be the eyesore from some really ugly looking art. But Norfolk public art is really visceral, kind of gets you in the guts!

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    1. Meant to type: most public art *in* most of the world...

      I'm still a little slow from imbuing some of Dionysus's best works in celebration of Earth Day.

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    2. Hah hah haa! What a punchline!

      And now that you've mentioned a titanic wine bottle, my current bottle looks pitiful.

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  4. Those things come very costly in Clone Zone!
    Actually I should be careful, since even on the basis of the witch finders' specious tests I would have been found guilty!

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    1. I think pretty much everybody these days would be found guilty. There wouldn't be enough Witch Wringers, Piercers, and Grinders in Clone Zone to go around!

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    2. Now that's my kind of coven field trip! We could move on to the Stuffers Prodders and... Well you get the idea!

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    3. I do. Especially as it's going on in the comments below, too!

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  5. I am the first to head of for a big screw in the woods, but... Jx

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    1. but what dear? last to take it in the end?

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    2. I've not been witch-pierced in years! Jx

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    3. Well, I'm a bit rusty, but maybe we could all take a turn?

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    4. I'm sorry to hear about your rust problem - lack of use, I expect. Actually stainless steel wouldn't have that disadvantage:
      http://www.clonezonedirect.co.uk/media/catalog/product/cache/1/small_image/300x/17f82f742ffe127f42dca9de82fb58b1/3/4/x3439153-1_1.jpg.pagespeed.ic.SOO9HicJZ3.jpg

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    5. Thanks for the suggestion. I've always been rather partial to Colossus!

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  6. Thankfully, I'm up to date on my shots.

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    1. Yes, it's bad enough just getting eviscerated, never mind having to deal with tetanus too!

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  7. I think elf and safety might have something to say about this.
    Meanwhile.... I shall be gone for a short time as I have books to read....
    Sx

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    1. ::groan::

      Yikes! Books! Reading! I knew there was something else should be doing!

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  8. No wonder they've brought in screw top wine bottles, it saves on all that cork, I guess you would need a whole tree to plug the neck if that's the corkscrew...

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    1. And yet, a bottle of that size would probably still only last an evening.
      Although, just imagine the hangover...

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