We’ve all been there – you’re having problems with your wifi and you’re pretty sure it’s caused by the old witch next door casting a spell on your equipment.
Luckily, there is a legal avenue you can follow in order to try to sort things out – as I discovered when I was reading my Perpetual Almanack of Folklore and came across a case that occurred in 1759:
One Susannah Haynokes, an elderly woman of Wingrave near Aylesbury, Bucks, was accused by her neighbour of bewitching her Spinning Wheel so that she could not make it go round, and offered to make Oath of it before the Magistrate. On which, Susannah’s husband, in order to justify his wife, insisted on her being tried by the Church Bible, and that the accuser should be present. Accordingly, she was conducted to the Church, where she was stripped of all her clothes, to her Shift and Under Coat, and weighed against the Bible: when, to no small mortification of her accuser, she outweighed it, and was honourably discharged.
Now, it may not have worked in this instance, but if you do have a problem with your wifi it’s worth a go in the case of very small and slight witches living in the vicinity of a church with a very large Bible.