• STV
  • MySTV

Face of 'witch' who died in 1704 digitally reconstructed

Lillias Adie from Torryburn in Fife confessed to having sex with the devil.

Reconstructed: Witch who died in 1704.
Reconstructed: Witch who died in 1704.

A forensic artist has digitally reconstructed the face of an 18th-century "witch" who was sentenced to be burned alive after confessing to having sex with the devil.

Lillias Adie from Torryburn, Fife, died in jail before she could face her punishment and it is believed she may have taken her own life.

A large stone now marks the spot on the beach where her remains were buried.

Locals placed the stone on top of her grave to "weigh down" the grave in an attempt to prevent Adie coming back to haunt them.

By the 19th century, scientific curiosity outweighed zombie fears and some antiquarians dug up the remains to study and display.

Her skull eventually made it to the St Andrews University Museum, where it was photographed more than 100 years ago.

The skull went missing at some point during the 20th century but the images remain and are held by the National Library of Scotland.

Records of Adie paint a picture of a woman, possibly in her 60s, who may have been frail for some time, with failing eyesight.

"Facial reconstruction is about bringing a character back to life to introduce and to connect with her."
Dr Christopher Rynn of St Andrews University.

They also suggest a woman who showed courage in holding off her accusers and their demands for the names of others to interrogate and kill.

Dr Christopher Rynn, of St Andrews University, told STV News: "The way I tackled it was to align the photographs in a 3D sculpture computer system, find a skull that we had in the collection that was similar and then distort it to fit from those two perspectives.

"This gave us a basis to do an anatomical facial reconstruction all the way to up the facial surface, which is about bringing a character back to life to introduce and to connect with her."

Historian Louise Yeoman said: "The point of the interrogation and its cruelties was to get names.

"Lilias said that she couldn't give the names of other women at the witches' gatherings as they were masked like gentlewomen.

"She only gave names which were already known and kept on coming up with good reasons for not identifying other women for this horrendous treatment despite the fact it would probably mean there was no let-up for her."

She added:"It's sad to think her neighbours expected some terrifying monster when she was actually an innocent person who'd suffered terribly. The only thing that's monstrous here is the miscarriage of justice."

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.