A story of a woman with a ghostly familiar from Sir Walter Scott's "Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft":
On the 8th November, 1576, Elizabeth or Bessie Dunlop, spouse to Andro Jak, in Lyne, in the Barony of Dalry, Ayrshire, was accused of sorcery and witchcraft and abuse of the people. Her answers to the interrogatories of the judges prosecutors ran thus. . .she replied that of herself she had no knowledge or science of such matters, but that when questions were asked at her concerning such matters, she was in the habit of applying to one Thome Reid, who died at the battle of Pinkie (10th September, 1547). . . This person she described as a respectable elderly-looking man, grey-bearded, and wearing a grey coat, with Lombard sleeves of the auld fashion. A pair of grey breeches and white stockings gartered above the knee, a black bonnet on his head, close behind and plain before, with silken laces drawn through the lips thereof, and a white wand in his hand, completed the description of what we may suppose a respectable-looking man of the province and period.
Being demanded concerning her first interview with this mysterious Thome Reid, she gave rather an affecting account. . .She was walking between her own house and the yard of Monkcastle, driving her cows to the common pasture, and making heavy moan with herself, weeping bitterly for her cow that was dead, her husband and child that were sick of the land-ill (some contagious sickness of the time), while she herself was in a very infirm state, having lately borne a child. On this occasion she met Thome Reid for the first time, who saluted her courteously, which she returned.
"Sancta Maria, Bessie!" said the apparition, "why must thou make such dole and weeping for any earthly thing?"
"Have I not reason for great sorrow," said she, "since our property is going to destruction, my husband is on the point of death, my baby will not live, and I am myself at a weak point ? Have I not cause to have a sore heart?"
"Bessie," answered the spirit, "thou hast displeased God in asking something that thou should not, and I counsel you to amend your fault. I tell thee, thy child shall die ere thou get home; thy two sheep shall also die; but thy husband shall recover and be as well and feir as ever he was."
The good woman was something comforted to hear that her husband was be spared in such her general calamity, but was rather alarmed to see her ghostly counsellor pass from her and disappear through a hole in the garden wall, seemingly too narrow to admit of any living person passing through it. . .
Bessie Dunlop affirmed he continued to come to her frequently, and assist her with his counsel; and that if any one consulted her about the ailments of human beings or of cattle, or the recovery of things lost and stolen, she was, by the advice of Thome Reid, always able to answer the querists. She was also taught by her (literally ghostly) adviser how to watch the operation of the ointments he gave her, and to presage from them the recovery or death of the patient. . .
Of Thome's other habits, she said that he always behaved with the strictest propriety, only that he pressed her to go to Elfland with him, and took hold of her apron as if to pull her along. . . In his theological opinions, Mr. Reid appeared to lean to the Church of Rome, which, indeed, was most indulgent to the fairy folk. He said that the new law, i.e., the Reformation, was not good, and that the old faith should return again, but not exactly as it had been before.
The intervention of Thome Reid as a partner in her trade of petty sorcery did not avail poor Bessie Dunlop, although his affection to her was apparently entirely platonic. . .Neither did it avail her that the petty sorcery which she practised was directed to venial or even beneficial purposes. The sad words on the margin of the record, "Convict and burnt," sufficiently express the tragic conclusion of a curious tale.