Castle Street, Forfar
James Webster Fountain, Forfar
Restenneth Priory ruins, Forfar
Forfar
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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 public.
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.
CASTLE STREET, FORFAR
JAMES WEBSTER FOUNTAIN, FORFAR
RESTENNETH PRIORY, near FORFAR
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How to
GET THERE
You can get a bus to Forfar from Dundee, which has a direct train service from Glasgow Queen Street and Edinburgh.
Scotland’s online tourist guide – tartan hippo logo