The town of Fuersteneck, near Grafenau in Bavaria, Germany, was the location of a witch trial in 1703. A record of the trial was obtained from the parsonage of Röhrnbach.


Afra Dickh (also written Afra Dick) was a serving girl at the Frueth farm in Wittersitt, part of the modern-day parish of Ringelai. The accusation made was of poisoning, bedevilment of humans and animals, associating with other witches and dealings with the devil. Co-accused were the 13-year-old shepherdess Maria, who was also in service at the same farm and the widowed farmer Maria Kölbl, a mother of 15 from Neidberg near Ringelai.


On account of magic[1] and arson (in puncto veneficii et incendii), Afra Dickh was hanged by executioner Sebastian Fleischmann of Passau on 1 June 1703, at the place of execution in Fürsteneck near Perlesreut, and afterward burnt to ashes at the stake with 30 blocks of wood and 40 pounds of pitch.[2]


  1. ^ Latin veneficium (<venena, "poison" + facere, ficere, "to make, do") is ambiguous, and can be translated "poisoning" or as "witchcraft." Cf. Lewis & Short, "veneficium."
  2. ^ Paul Praxl: Die Geschichte des Wolfsteiner Landes, in: Der Landkreis Freyung Grafenau, S. 178, Freyung 1982