sorry, I couldn’t resist that post headline.
Helena Curtens (1722-1738.)
Helena is said to be the last person executed for witchcraft in Germany- which made her case very famous, but that is not entirely true. Maria Renata Saenger von Mossau (say that 10 times fast) was executed in 1749 and Anna Schnidenwind in 1751.
Helena was accused after reports of a 14 year old ghost was seen floating around the village. She immediately pointed the finger at her neighbor, Agnes Olmans who was also rumored to be a witch. Both girls were brought on charges for doing unspeakable things with demons. Outraged, Agnes demanded that they be exposed to the “ordeal of water.” This consisted of tying rope around the so-called “witch’s” neck, and pulling them into a river. If the accused floated, she was innocent. When the argument came up that witches floated because they renounced baptism- making them supernaturally light, the practice was discredited (because THAT makes sense.)
Agnes and Helena were denied this sort of trial. They were tortured and eventually judged guilty of sorcery and executed by burning.
It all makes me want to watch the Holy Grail, for the 413th time. “Why do witches burn?”, “because they’re made of wood!”