A Witch Ducking

Illustration from A Popular History of the United States by William Cullen Bryant. New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1896. One 'foolproof' way to establish whether a suspect was a witch was ducking. With right thumb bound to left toe, the accused was plunged into a convenient pond. If he or she floated, it proved an association with the black arts, with the body rejecting the baptismal water. If the victim drowned, he or she was innocent. A ducking stool or diving chair was also used in America for witches.
(courtesy of The Boston Public Library.) close window
citation: http://www.hawthorneinsalem.org/images/fullpageimage.php?name=MMD2306