1895 – Bridget Cleary is burned to death by her husband Michael who believed her spirit had been taken by bad faeries and replaced with a changeling.

The horrific case dominated the media in Ireland during the trial. Reports of the incident suggest that her husband (who was sentenced to 15 years for manslaughter) was the one who was not mentally sound shouting “It is not Bridget I am burning” during the horrific incident.

“I saw Cleary throw lamp-oil on her. When she was burning, she turned to me” (imagine that face of woe!) “and called out, ‘Oh, Han, Han!’ I endeavoured to get out for the peelers. My brother William went up into the other room and fell in a weakness, and my mother threw Easter water over him. Bridget Cleary was all this time burning on the hearth, and the house was full of smoke and smell. I had to go up to the room, I could not stand it. Cleary then came up into the room where we were and took away a large sack bag. He said, ‘Hold your tongue, Hannah, it is not Bridget I am burning. You will soon see her go up into the chimney.’“

The Burning of Bridget Cleary: http://www.libraryireland.com/articles/Burning-Bridget-Cleary/index.php



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