In the seventeenth century a small disagreement led to a massive
witch-hunt in Forfar, one of such seriousness that the 'infamous
witch-prodder, John Kincaid of Tranent, was brought to Forfar to
assist.' You knew you were in trouble if the witch-prodder became
involved. One has to wonder how we, as alleged human beings, ever sunk
to such hideous levels of barbarity. Many women were horribly tortured
in Forfar, and at least six were strangled then burnt to death in
It is a little-known fact (would I lie to you?) that there is a link
between witches and bridies in Forfar. Not everyone likes onions in
their bridie. But unfortunately witches are unable to say the word
'onion', and instead say 'ingan'. This was the telltale sign
that a witch was in your presence. Indeed, one method used by the
witch-prodder was to get the alleged witch to speak... 'Say 'onion',' he
would command. 'O...o...on...ingan,' the witch would reply, whereupon
she would be placed upon a pyre and set alight. Sometimes the
witch-prodder would hide in bakers... 'A bridie, nae ingans,' a female
customer would say, and the witch-prodder would jump up from behind the
counter amidst cries of 'BURN THE WITCH,' from all those in attendance.
But the bakers felt sorry for the witches and made their bridies with
secret markings - holes in the pastry - to differentiate between those
bridies made with onions and those without. Never again would the word 'ingan'
be uttered. The Forfar witches were safe. For now.