Tag Archives: maggie wall

In which the Author talks witchcraft on the Spooky Isles site…

That fine institution The Spooky Isles has one of my witterings up today, the subject being the extraordinary (and

unique) Maggie Wall witchcraft monument in Dunning, Perthshire Scotland. Appropriately, it’s part of their Spooky Scotland week.

Maggie-Wall938x150011 - Maggie Wall monument


The piece is based on my book Maggie Wall – The Witch Who Never Was and the title itself may give you a clue

about my conclusions regarding this amazing site, the only historical monument to a named witch in the country.

spooky isles MW


You can check out the piece here, and while you’re there scope out some of the other goodies on the site. My

thanks to MJ Steel Collins.



In which the author publishes another book (this one’s on witchcraft)…

‘Maggie Wall – The Witch Who Never Was’ is out on December 1st. Telling the story of my investigations into the

famous Maggie Wall Witchcraft Monument in Perthshire, Scotland – the only historic monument to a named witch

in the whole of the UK – it is a non-fiction detective historical story, leading to some very surprising conclusions

about this most enigmatic of monuments. Here’s the blurb:

A remarkable and striking B-listed roadside cross in Perthshire is painted with the words



AS A WITCH 1657′

Maggie Wall has subsequently become the most famous witch in Scotland, featuring in folklore, folk history and

modern pagan belief alike.
Which is strange, seeing as she never existed.
This is the story of the Witch Who Never Was.


‘Maggie Wall – The Witch Who Never Was’ is  published as an ebook by The New Curiosity Shop out of Edinburgh. It is currently available on Amazon/Kindle, and will soon be downloadable for Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and the Apple iBookstore. The cost is around £2.80 or $3.60. 


In which the Author talks Scottish witchcraft for Skeptics in the Pub…

Halloween… where better to spend it than in a pub with the words ‘Banshee’ and

‘Labyrinth’ in its name, deep within Edinburgh Old Town, talking about Witches in Scotland?

The nice people at Skeptics in the Pub have invited me to give a Halloween special as part of their round of talks.

I’ll be discussing the historical reality of Scottish witchcraft as contrasted with its typical

portrayals, and outlining my investigations into the possible truth behind the famous Maggie Wall Witchcraft Monument in Perthshire.

The illustrated talk is free and kicks off at 7.30, at The Banshee Labyrinth, 29-35 Niddry

Street, Edinburgh EH1 1LG. I’ll be bringing books for sale, as usual.

11 - Maggie Wall monument

In which the author talks about witches and eats yummy things…


I recently gave a talk to the Dunning branch of the Scottish Women’s Rural Institute, on the subject of the Maggie Wall Witchcraft Monument, which stands just outside the village. It was my first talk at a SWRI, and it was quite an eyeopener. Not many of my talks start with the audience singing a song (in this case, the SWRI anthem), and even fewer involve me being asked to judge the best sweeties!


Apparently it is a tradition that all guest speakers have to judge the competitions held that night. So after selecting ‘best mask’ and ‘best flower’ I had to choose ‘best tablet’. For those not in the know, tablet is a Scottish delicacy, a very sweet caramel-like confection typically made with condensed milk. Now the standard of hand-crafted tablet on display was very high, so as the judge it was of course incumbent upon me to make sure that every sample was thoroughly tested…


This was followed by a cup of tea accompanied by delicious home-made salmon sandwiches. I think that from now on I should ask for such items to be a standard part of my ‘rider’ when I give talks…


As for the talk, it went down very well, with naturally a great deal of interest in my suggestions about the origins of the Witch Monument see here – with several alternative ideas proposed from the audience. My thanks to the SWRI for the invite and the hospitality. Now, back to writing, fuelled by tablet-tastic sugar rush…


In which the author gives a talk on the Maggie Wall Witchcraft Monument (and Kate McNiven, the Witch of Monzie)…

On Tuesday 1st November I gave an illustrated talk at Dunning Town Hall on the subject of ‘The Maggie Wall Witchcraft Monument’. I discussed my researches into another ‘famous witch who did not exist’, Kate McNiven, the Witch of Monzie. And as time allowed, we got some sightings of anomalous big cats in as well.

 The talk started at 7.30pm, at Dunning, 10 miles south of Perth and just off the A9. The event was organised by the Scottish Women’s Rural Institute, but was open to everyone, not just members of the SWRI.


My thanks, by the way, to the organisers of recent talks I’ve given, from the Breadalbane Heritage Society to the West Stormont Historical Society and the libraries of Coupar Angus and Blairgowrie. In each case the venue was full, the audience engaged, and the Q & A session replete with interest. Enjoyable times.