Arriens was active in medicine. One theory is that she was accused by an old patient of having threatened to put a spell on a boy. She was judged guilty of sorcery and sentenced to be burned alive at the stake. She is often mentioned as one of the last people executed for sorcery in the Netherlands, a country where the witch hunt ended earlier than in many other European countries. One of the reasons for this misconception was that the year of her death had long been confused and believed to be 1597 instead of 1591. In reality, there were several people in the Netherlands executed for sorcery after her; the last people executed for sorcery in the Netherlands were Anna Muggen, burned at the stake in Gorinchem in 1608, and Triene Lancheldes in 1613.
The song "Born for Burning", by the Swedish black metal band Bathory, was dedicated to Arriens.
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