Marketta Punasuomalainen

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Marketta Ristontytär Punasuomalainen, (1600 or 1610 – 1658), was a Finnish cunning woman and an alleged witch. She was one of the first people executed for sorcery in Finland and also perhaps one of the best known victims of the witch hunt in her country.

Marketta and her husband, Simo Antinpoika, had been forced to leave their farm in the 1630s, and made a living as travelling beggars in the country around the city of Vaasa. The uncle of her husband had been accused of sorcery in 1624. Marketta worked in nature medicine, and had the reputation of being a magician, something she encouraged and attempted to use for her benefit.

The farmers began to fear her, and once a priest died, after having preached against her in church in 1656, she was arrested. When she was put on trial in 1657, she was accused for making babies sick, enchanting beer, creating sickness, and killing two men with magic. She responded that she had never harmed anyone, but the public opinion demanded a conviction, and she was judged guilty and sentenced to be burnt at the stake.

Both her husband, and her daughter, Katarina, were also accused of sorcery, but acquitted from the charges.

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