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Janet Horne of Dornoch, Executed For Witchcraft

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Janet Horne, of Dornoch, Sutherland, was the last accused witch legally executed in Scotland. This is not believed to be her real name, as it was used to refer to many others accused of witchcraft.

They were held in Dornoch jail, however, there are no known court records surviving today.

Name: Janet Horne
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Date of Death: 1727; possibly June 1722
Place of Death: Dornoch, Sutherland, Scotland
Daughter: Helen, who is believed to have had a deformed hand.

First Account: by Edmund Burr in 1727, stated that a mother and daughter were condemned. The daughter escaped, but the mother was burned in a pitch barrel (tar).

Second Account: by James Fraser is similar to the above account.

C.K Sharpe's Account: It was this account that dramatized the event, describing the accused as having transformed her daughter into a pony and riding her through the village.


Janet and her daughter were accused of witchcraft by their neighbour. They were both arrested and imprisoned. The trial was held and the sheriff proclaimed them both guilty, sentencing them to be burned at the stake. Janet's daughter escaped custody, but it is said that Janet was stripped naked, covered in tar and marched through Dornoch on a barrel. She was then burned alive.


The Witch's Stone, in Dornoch, is said to mark the spot of the execution. The stone is located in a garden of a home on Carnaig Street, in Dornoch. The date on the stone is 1722. Most sources give her execution date as 1727.

Janet Horne Square, in Dornoch


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