For me, they’d have to have done something pretty terrible to me or really terrible to society. And while killing a loved one of my own might make me do it, I don’t think the witch having killed someone else would make me burn them. I mean...you’re staring at a wonder that shatters our conventional understanding of nature. It’s not like you have to be friends, but at the very least I’d have some questions.
And I think that the old trope about the government snatching such types upon discovery is pretty accurate. The government rat-lined Nazi’s for...whatever it was they needed from them. They were drugging their own soldiers in an attempt to master mind control. I think finding a real witch would, at the very least, peak their interest and there’s no telling what they would do for one.
Putting it in that light, if people really were burned at the stake, I doubt actual belief in satanic powers at work played a part. Me being as cynical as I am, even if that power was dark in nature, I think half the village would have been seduced by it immediately. Power. Someone is offering you power. Supernatural power. You might be excited simply to be in it’s presence. I, myself, don’t think I could resist not knowing more about it or trying it. Only if it caused someone great pain or worse, and that’s a maybe. It’s easy to say this or that now, but what happens when power like that is offered to you in reality?