European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 219–226

False allegations of satanic abuse: Case studies from the witch panic in Rättvik 1670–71

  • R. L. Sjöberg
Case Report

DOI: 10.1007/BF00539929

Cite this article as:
Sjöberg, R.L. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (1997) 6: 219. doi:10.1007/BF00539929


The creation of false memories, psychiatric symptoms and false allegations of satanic child abuse during an outbreak of witch hysteria in Sweden in the seventeenth century are described and related to contemporary issues in child testimonies. Case studies of 28 children and 14 adults are presented. The mechanisms underlying the spread of these allegations, as well as the reactions and influence of the adult world on the children's testimonies, are discussed.

Key words

Child testimoniesfalse memoriesfalse allegationsritual abusemass hysteria

Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. L. Sjöberg
    • 1
  1. 1.BrommaSweden