There were several types of ordeal to determine whether a person was guilty or not. Prepare to be amazed!
1. Ordeal by fire - walking over hot ploughshares for a distance of 9 feet. Innocence determined by either total lack of injury, or if the injury was only festering after three days.
2. Ordeal by boiling water - suspect had to dip his hand into a pot of boiling water to retrieve a stone. Innocence determined by whether or not the burns had healed in three days.
3. Ordeal by cold water - suspect was submerged in a stream either in a barrel or with a millstone around his neck. Innocence determined by whether or not he survived!
4. Ordeal by cold water (witches only) - suspect is submerged as above, but sinks if guilty, floats if innocent.
5. Ordeal by cross - accuser AND accused stand either side of a cross with their arms out horizontally. The first one to lower his arms is the loser.
6. Ordeal by ingestion - bread and cheese blessed by a priest were administered. Guilty if the suspect choked.
7. Ordeal by poison (Nigeria) - fed a poisonous bean. If defendant vomited it up, they were innocent.
8. Ordeal by boiling oil (India) - as #2, but both accuser AND accused had to dip their hands in boiling oil. Whoever had uninjured hands afterwards was innocent.
9. Ordeal by turf (Iceland) - suspect had to walk underneath a piece of turf. If the turf fell on his head, he was guilty.
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