One of my major fascinations is European witchcraft as it occurred between1400-1700. It was a fearful time full of hysteria and no one was safe. The elderly, children and even noblemen fell to this mass hysteria that cost so many lives. However, by far the largest group of victims were women.
The Malleus Maleficarum (1487), also known as the Hammer of the Witches, explains that women are easier for the devil to seduce therefore easier to turn into witches. Some chapters explain in detail how to recognise, interrogate and torture witches. Approved by the church most of the methods focused on the female body and the genitalia in particular. They included stripping and inspecting the suspect for the devil’s marks and cleansing the witch’s womb by pouring hot metal into it.