Janet Douglas (seer)

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Janet Douglas (died after 1678), was a Scottish woman who claimed to have second sight.

During the 1670s, in the western islands of Scotland, Janet began publicly "demonstrating" said sight by seeking out "images"[clarification needed], objects allegedly made by witches. The phenomenon of second sight was often considered witchcraft itself.

By the time she moved to Glasgow, traveling alone at the age of eleven, she was mobbed by people wanting to discover if witchcraft was the cause of their ill luck, given word already reached the city before her arrival. After she had told several members of the crowd where they could the images, the crowd stirred itself into such a frenzy that the magistrates quickly put her under protective custody.

Soon the Privy Council of Scotland summoned her. Her arrival in Edinburgh in 1678 was as chaotic as her entrance into Glasgow — if not more so. She directly accused several members of the crowd of practicing witchcraft. Judicial officials and other notables unsuccessfully interrogated her as to her background, parentage, and how she performed.

After Edinburgh, Janet's race disappeared. She was eventually released, and rumour holds that she fled to the West Indies.


  • MacGowan, Douglas, The Enigma of Janet Douglas, Volume 13, Issue 3, Dalriada, pp. 34–36.