Cold Water Ordeal

   A suspected witch was bound hand and foot and thrown into a pond or river. If she floated, then she was a witch, since it was believed this was an act of the devil protecting his own. If she sank, she was innocent, but she was also probably drowned.

The writer's dictionary of science fiction, fantasy, horror and mythology. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • cold-water ordeal — A trial by ordeal in which the defendant was thrown into cold water; if he sank, he was deemed innocent; if he floated, he was found guilty …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • cold water ordeal — The trial which was anciently used for the common sort of people, who, having a cord tied about them under their arms, were cast into a river; if they sank to the bottom until they were drawn up, which was in a very short time, then were they… …   Black's law dictionary

  • ordeal — The most ancient species of trial, in Saxon and old English law, being peculiarly distinguished by the appellation of judicium Dei, or judgment of God, it being supposed that supernatural intervention would rescue an innocent person from the… …   Black's law dictionary

  • ordeal — The most ancient species of trial for criminal offenses, founded upon the belief of the ancients that if a man were innocent, God would save him from death or injury when he was subjected to an ordeal. See 4 Bl Comm 342. See also Hurtado v… …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • Water torture — is torture using water, which can take several forms. Because no external marks are left on victims of water torture, it has been a favoured method of torture in various countries and political regimes.The torture has notably been used against… …   Wikipedia

  • Ordeal, trial by — In trial by ordeal, proof of guilt or innocence was determined by God, the accused being tested by an ordeal which proved innocence if no mark was caused by the trial itself. In the laws of Athelstan anyone undergoing this trial had to be blessed …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

  • Water cure (torture) — This is an article about a form of torture. For other uses, see Water cure. The Water Torture Facsimile of a woodcut in J. Damhoudère s Praxis Rerum Criminalium, Antwerp, 1556. Water cure as a term for a form of torture refers to a method in… …   Wikipedia

  • Ordeal — A method of trial in which the accused was given a physical test (usually painful and/or dangerous) which could be met successfully only if they were innocent. Eg. Ordeal by fire. ♦ A form of proof in a court of law, by which a divine sign of… …   Medieval glossary

  • Water memory — Memory of water redirects here. For the Spanish Argentine film, see Memory of Water (film). Water memory Claims Under certain circumstances water can retain a memory of solute particles after arbitrarily large dilution. Related scientific… …   Wikipedia

  • Trial by ordeal — is a judicial practice by which the guilt or innocence of the accused is determined by subjecting them to an unpleasant, usually dangerous experience. In some cases, the accused were considered innocent only if they survived the test, or if their …   Wikipedia

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