Bird Bird

Paisley's Enchanted Threads

John Reid

The Story of John Reid

John Reid

John Reid, a married man, was a smith from Inchinnan who became caught up in the witch hunt of 1697. He had been held in the Renfrew tollbooth, and eventually confessed to having entered into the service of the devil. It is alleged that Reid stated that the devil promised him that he would be rewarded with material comforts, upon which Reid placed one hand on the top of his head, and the other on the soul of his foot, signifying that everything in between belonged to the devil.

It is said that Reid admitted to attending numerous meetings with the other witches, a few of which took place in the courtyard of Bargarran house, where they spoke with the devil about drowning Christian Shaw in the well. During his confession, Reid mentioned that the devil had never kept his side of the bargain, and that he had not been in receipt of any of the promises that the devil had made to him. When Reid confessed to Patrick Simson, minister at Renfrew and one of the leading protagonists of the 1697 witch hunt, he renounced the devil. 

When the witnesses returned to Reid's cell the next morning, which was Saturday 22nd of May, they found that he had committed suicide, hanging himself with his own scarf. The seven who had been found guilty of witchcraft in Paisley still had over three weeks to wait for a similar fate to befall them.