In the middle of the 17th century, witchcraft hysteria spread across Sweden, resulting in numerous witch trials and the death of some 400 people. This dark period in Swedish history was given the name “Det Stora Oväsendet,” or “the Great Noise.”
The climax of the witch hunt occurred in Torsåker parish, in the northern province of Ångermanland. There, on one spring day of 1675, 71 people (65 of whom were women) were tried and executed. In total, about one-fifth of all the women in the parish were falsely accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake.
The victims were beheaded and their bodies burned on a hilltop near Torsåker parish. Today the mountain is still known as Bålberget (“Pyre Mountain”) or Häxberget (“Witch Mountain”). A memorial stone was erected at the execution site in 1975 on the 300-year anniversary of the trial. The Swedish inscription on the stone translates to:
In 1675 witches’ pyres burnt here. Women died, men judged. The belief of the time befalls man.