1. Suspected witches were strip-searched to see if they had the devil's mark on their body. Via commons.wikimedia.org The devil's mark, or "witch's mark", was said to be a permanent mark inflicted by the devil on a witch to show their obedience to him. It was believed that he scratched his claws across the witch's skin or used a hot iron poker to mark them. Some people also believed that the witch's mark could be found under a person's hair or eyelid, or that the devil inflicted it by licking the witch in a private place. 2. The 1428 Valais witch trials are the first recorded event where victims were persecuted and killed because of accusations of witchcraft. Via commons.wikimedia.org The victims of the trials were accused of a number of things, including sorcery and making pacts with the devil. The victims supposedly paid tribute to the devil, who appeared as a bear or a ram. Some victims were tortured to death without confessing, while others confessed to a variety of evil deeds, including killing and eating their own children. 3. Cakes made with the urine of those thought to be afflicted by witchcraft were fed to dogs. Via commons.wikimedia.org Witch cake was believed to have the power to reveal whether a person's illness or possession was actually caused by witchcraft. The cake (or sometimes a biscuit) was made using the urine of the afflicted person, rye flour, and ashes — creating an extremely unappetising brew that was then fed to a dog. If the "familiar" displayed the same symptoms as the "possessed" person, this was considered enough evidence that the illness had been inflicted by witches. The dog was then supposed to point to the witches who had caused the illness. This technique was used during the Salem witch trials. 4. The ducking stool was commonly used to torture and humiliate women accused of witchcraft. Via commons.wikimedia.org The device was made of a wooden or iron chair attached to a beam and was usually placed near a river or pond. It was repeatedly lowered into the water with the victim strapped to it. This was typically done multiple times for long periods and often proved fatal, through drowning or shock. 5. Merga Bien, one of the most famous victims of the witch trials in the 1600s, was killed after being accused of being impregnated by Satan. Via commons.wikimedia.org Merga Bien was one of about 250 people killed in the witch trials in Fulda, Germany. Bien was arrested and thrown in jail even though she was pregnant. While in jail, she was forced to confess to the murder of her second husband and the children they'd had together. She was also forced to confess that her unborn child was the product of intercourse with Satan. She was burned at the stake. 6. The witch's bridle was a torture device used to stop witches from incanting spells. Via commons.wikimedia.org Sometimes known as the "scold's bridle" or "branks", the witch's bridle was a torture device used to stop witches from reciting spells. The device was usually made of iron and acted as a muzzle, with a piece of metal permanently placed in the mouth. It usually had spikes lying flat across the tongue, making talking excruciating and virtually impossible. The device was used as a method of humiliation, usually with a chain attached to it so the supposed witch could be paraded around in public. 7. Suspected witches were repeatedly poked with a small needle. Via commons.wikimedia.org "Pricking" was the act of using a small needle or knife to prick a mark that was thought to be the devil's mark. Prickers would poke the mark, and if the accused didn't bleed or show signs of pain, they were said to be a witch. The people doing this were only paid if they found a supposed witch, so many "sham prickers" emerged. These men would use a knife that would retract into the handle when pressure was applied, resulting in people being falsely accused. 8. And one accused sorcerer was "pressed" to death. Via commons.wikimedia.org Giles Corey and his wife, Martha, were both accused of witchcraft in the Salem witch trials. Giles refused to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty and was then tortured by pressing — a method in which the victim is crushed under extreme weight. Although the method was legal at the time, this is the only record of its being used. Giles died after three days without pleading. 9. Another torture method was the garrote — in which suspected witches were strangled with a wire or a rope. Via commons.wikimedia.org Victims were usually shackled to a chair with a metal collar placed around their neck. A lever was turned that would make the collar tighten, eventually causing suffocation.Agnes Sampson, who was believed to be a witch in Scotland in the late 1500s, was thrown into prison, examined for the devil's mark, and told to confess. The captors proceeded to shave all of her body hair and used the garrote method on her for an hour until they found what they believed to be the devil's mark. She was then burned at the stake. 10. Four-year-old Dorothy Good was the youngest person to be accused of witchcraft in the Salem witch trials. Via commons.wikimedia.org She was imprisoned and later confessed that she and her mother, Sarah Good, were witches. She claimed that she had seen her mother consorting with the devil and was said to have been given a talking snake that would drain her blood. People believed the snake to be a witch's familiar. Residents of Salem claimed that the child was feral — she is said to have bitten people and to have behaved like a wild dog. 11. Witches were accused of holding rituals where they ate exhumed corpses. Dea / Getty Images The witch's Sabbath was believed to be a ritual where witches gathered to practice witchcraft and dance with the devil. At the time of mass witch trials, the accused were forced to confess to having attended these events. The confessions were usually a mix of what the victims' persecutors were telling them to say and what the victims believed might be happening at these meetings. It was during the case of Agnes Sampson that the idea that witches exhumed and ate corpses first arose. It then became a common confession among the accused in Scotland, with one of the worst accounts being of a witch's sabbath in Forfar, where witches were said to have exhumed and eaten the bodies of babies. 12. Some witches were dunked in water to test their innocence. Via commons.wikimedia.org Suspected witches' hands and legs were tied together with rope, and the victims were then submerged into the water by their accusers. If they began to sink, their innocence was proven. You've probably heard that this meant definite death, but "innocent" people were pulled onto a boat and spared (if they hadn't already died, that is). There were many beliefs about water — some people believed that witches were extremely light and would simply not be heavy enough to sink, while others thought that their renouncing of God meant that "baptism" was impossible. 13. And some were forced to endure a system of torture that involved victims being hung and pulled from their arms. Chris Hellier / Getty Images The strappado worked on a pulley system in which the victim would have their hands tied behind their back and then raised in the air to hang. The victim would then be dropped and raised at intervals, resulting in horrendous pain and often dislocation of the arms. Sometimes weights were added to the victim's feet to increase the pain. Although this tactic was used to coerce victims to confess to being practitioners of witchcraft, it could only be used for short periods of time before victims passed out or died.