The stories of women tortured and burned for witchcraft in Dumbarton have been rediscovered in a new map.

A total of 19 people accused of witchcraft in Dumbarton and the Vale in the 17th century have been found.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have created an interactive map detailing the more than 3,000 women who were accused, tortured, burned at the stake, or drowned for “being witches”.

The map is built upon the work of The Survey of Scottish Witchcraft, an electronic resource detailing the history of witch-hunting in Scotland.

Tor Scott, collection and research assistant at the National Galleries of Scotland, said: “The research is hugely detailed and brings some semblance of respect to those who were executed.

“It makes you realise that these were ordinary people, not the crones on broomsticks that everyone imagines when they hear the word ‘witch’.”

“It’s a common theme for these women to confess to benign things that would be problematic in a village: turning milk sour, ruining crops, to the most outrageous orgies with the devil.

“They were coerced into saying these things, which gives you an idea of what people were wanting to hear at that time; that sex was bad, their poor harvest wasn’t their fault, and it’s all the fault of the strange woman at the end of the road.”

One case is that of Margaret McKillope, accused of witchcraft in Bonhill in 1697.

Among her alleged crimes is the possession and murder of children through magical strangulation.

She was also accused of murdering a church minister

The evidence in her trial came from testimony of children who claimed to be possessed and tormented by witches.

She was said to have the “Devil’s mark” and danced whilst the Devil played the pipe.

The authors explain: “Many ‘witches’ were defined as witches by their neighbours, through a process of gossip and quarrelling. Witches were believed to be malicious and vengeful.”

“If someone suffered a misfortune after a quarrel, they might conclude the other person bewitched them in revenge.”

Another case involved a trusted, high-ranking servant to a Sir John Colquhoun, the Laird of Luss in 1632.

Thomas Carlipis was a German necromancer asked to design a love potion and a bejewelled token, enchanted to make the receiver give herself over to the giver, by the Laird.

He used the items to seduce his wife’s sister.