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Tereshka Malakurov :: History 229: The Age of the Witch Hunts

Tereshka Malakurov

Tereshka Malakurov was a notable figure in the Lukh trials. He was one of the first to be accused, likely due to his well-known presence in the town as a magical healer. In the interrogation prior to torture, he denied bewitching anyone as well as healing the sick with supernatural power. Upon his first round of torture with hot pincers, he admitted to accepting money to heal the wife of a priest and the daughter of a townsman, although he could not heal them, and the priest’s wife died of the illness later. In the second round of torture, he admitted to practicing witchcraft, which he learned from an old horse healer named Oska who died a long time ago. He said he performed his spells over salt and then swept the bewitched salt around the street or set his spells loose on the wind, so whomever they came into contact with would be afflicted. He also admitted so bewitching them in hopes of making money by administering the cure (probably because of leading questions). With the third round of torture he incriminated himself further and admitted to bewitching several specific people within the town. Afterward, five local officials and five prison guards testified against him, claiming that he came to them in their sleep. Needless to say Tereshka Malakurov was declared guilty and executed by beheading.

witch execution


Levack, Brian P., ed,”A Russian Witch-Trial at Lukh, 1657.” In The Witchcraft Sourcebook. New York: Routledge, 2004.

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