This witch story has all the usual elements… healer, gossip, false testimony, bitter judge, etc. Lisbet Nypan (1610 – 1670) was accused of witchcraft in Norway. Along with her husband, Ole. The two were brought to trial and convicted.

Lisbet made a living as a healer. People in her village came to her for remedies to cure ailments and sickness. One of her methods was “reading in salt”. This was done by saying a prayer over a pile of salt, and having the patient eat it. When the cure did not work, her customers turned on both Ole and Lisbet and made vicious accusations. The courts, hearing the unhappy customers’ testimony, believed these prayers were to Satan and not God.

Despite 6 months of trial and torture, the couple maintained their innocence. The Superior Judge felt that Lisbet was “more guilty” than Ole, so she was executed by burning at the stake, while Ole was (just) beheaded. Lose-lose situation.