Two witch stones

These are charm stones. They were used to protect farm animals. Until the early years of the 20th century it was quite common to find holed stones hanging in farm byres and stables. These stones, often called “witch stones”, were believed to have magical properties and could protect animals from witches and other demonic beings. Horses were particularly vulnerable to supernatural attack. Witches would steal a horse at night and force it to gallop across the country for hours on end. The exhausted beast would be returned to the stable early the next day. A horse which had been used in this way was said to have been hag-ridden. How could a simple piece of stone with a hole through it stop a witch? No one today knows that answer to that. But farmers and countrymen throughout Britain were convinced that these objects were powerful protective charms. These two witch stones were collected by Rev. R G S Anderson in the 1930s.
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Dimensions :
50mm x 26mm; 45mm x 22mm
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Accession number :
WIWMS 1945.50.A, WIWMS 2000.10.2
Copyright :
Dumfries & Galloway Council
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