Renfrewshire Witch Hunt 1697
Paisley Witch Hunt 1697 are setting up at Unit 30 High Street, Paisley offering an interactive experience highlighting the Witches Curse, the Paislety Thread Industry, and the links between the bewitching of the town in 1697 and its rise to the bid for City of Culture 2021.
There will be walking tours and a specially commissioned publication to accompany your visit to The Paisley Witch Hunt experience.
In 1697 Christian Shaw aged 11 accused 30 citizens of Renfrewshire of witchcraft - seven of them were garroted and buried under a horseshoe at Maxwellton Cross. On the way to the gallows one of the women pronounced "a curse on Paisley and all who live in her" resulting in the horseshoe being kept in place to prevent the "witches" escaping to enact the curse.
Christian prospered and was a founder of the Paisley Thread industry, outliving two husbands who died in mysterious circumstances.
The Coats and Clark families took over the mills and Paisley also prospered.
The myth of the curse and the horseshoe persisted and its disturbance was linked to local disasters including the Glen Cinema Disaster, however by the late 60's people were more sceptical about the curse and the horseshoe was removed during roadworks in 1967.
Paisley declined from then on and by 2012 was a ghost of its former self with no industry and a High Street empty of shops.
In 2012 the horseshoe was replaced embedded in a tondo designed by Paisley's sculptor in residence, Sandy Stoddart and Paisley is on the rise again bidding for UK city of Culture 2021.