The main role of watchers was to wait for familiars to appear. They would not allow the suspected witch any time to rest, settle or recover. She would be sat on a stool, kept awake, and walked back and forth to deprive her of sleep until a familiar or confession would be found. This sleep deprivation could very easily have been the cause of many women’s sentences, as in their delirious state they would find any possible way to be allowed some rest, even if that meant condemning themselves to execution in the process.
Mistley Witch Watch, 2023