How people were tested to determine whether or not they were a witch or wizard.
Many people in the time of the fateful witch trials believed that if a woman guilty of evil-doing was thrown into a body of water and floated, they were indeed a witch. They believed that God's holy water would repel their evil souls, thus allowing them to float. However, even if you were innocent and you sunk to the bottom, you often times drowned.
It was also believed that if the accused possessed peculiar markings, such as freckles and warts, he or she was a witch or wizard. The examiners also looked out for what they all called a witch's teat, thought to provide their familiars (animal guides) with blood for further nourishment, such as a mother feeding her baby.
Another popular test for witchcraft was using needles to prick the suspects skin. If the skin bled, they were innocent. However, many persecutors used dull needles to condemn them to be hanged.
When a convicted witch was "visited" by animals in the jail holding them, it was thought that the suspect had called upon her animal familiars. Familiars are creatures that aid the witch in performing magic. The presence of creatures in a jail cell would prove the suspect's guilt of sorcery.
Although it may seem odd, suspects were placed upon a scale plate with a bible on the other side. If the suspect was heavier than the Bible, they were innocent and had a pure soul. However, if the suspect weighed was lighter, they were accused of witchcraft and had a soul sold to Satan. They were believed to be higher than God, not following his way of life at the time of the trials.