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avoke

Lasses Birgitta

Lasses Birgitta, (d.1550), was an alleged Swedish witch. She was the first woman executed for sorcery in Sweden. In April 1550, Lasses Birgitta, which means "Birgitta, Wife of Lasse", from Algutsrum in Öland, confessed to the bailiff and the secretary on Kalmar Castle that she had tried to avoke a dead man to life on Kastlösa cemetery at midnight.

One night, Birgitta and two men had entered the church yard with the intent of avoking one of the dead with magic. Birgitta had passed the place in a circle three times and then blowed through the key hole of the church until it opened. She had tried to get a hold of the stole, but did not find it and had to leave, after which she locked the door the same way she entered it. After another attempt on a different occasion, she had succeeded to get the stole, passed the church three times against the sun, renounced god and swore herself to the Devil.

The court judged Birgitta as guilty of sorcery and sentenced her to death by decapitation. The men who accompanied her was fined.

After the trial of Birgitta, the Swedish witch hunt remained more or less unactive until the 1590s, and the real witch hysteria was not to break loose until 1668.

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