Lecture leaves Ellon history pupils bewitched

STUDENTS at Ellon Academy were invited to a special lecture on Thursday by a visiting history professor from Aberdeen University.

Professor Bill Naphy gave the presentation on ‘Witchcraft in Aberdeenshire’ to a room of Higher history students, who were joined by interested youngsters from other classes. Professor Naphy specialises in medieval history, running the ‘Plague, Poison and Persecution’ course at the university.

He has previously given a presentation on plague at Ellon Academy, and Thursday’s talk included reference to the Scottish witch hunt of 1597, which saw dozens garotted and burned in the shire for the crime of being a witch.

Professor Naphy was invited to give the presentation by history teacher Craig Paterson, who is a former student himself.

Professor Naphy commented: “Most schools focus on history that comes with moving images – such as the Second World War – so to get them to engage with pre-modern, pre-visual history is different so it has to be topics that can grab their attention, which is why I think I’ve been asked to give this talk.”