If you deny offer for proposal nowadays, men will be angry or disappointed, but he will forget and focus on other women. In ancient times, women who denied proposal were punished as witches, this was good way of discarded men for revenge.
13 - 18 century was age of inquisition and torching. Many innocent women burnt as witches, many were accused that they made contract with devil . What was procedure? Women were torching until they make confession and then verdict was "guilty." Many women betrayed their neighbors in exchange for their freedom, but court deceived them and they were executed anyway.
This story was from Zagreb in Croatia. Beautiful widow Barica Cindek , woman baker was accused as witch. She had many admirers, but she denied all. She was very successful as merchant, men bought her cakes and candies because of her beauty.
Also familiar lawyer Lacko wanted to have her love but she denied him. He used his business connection to accuse her for witchcraft. He also abused his power to explore where is a devil sign on her body.
In the year 1743 poor Barica burnt as witch on bonfire. She prayed to God all the time to forgive women who were fake witnesses against her.
That bloody nightmares with witch hunters finished when empress Maria Terezija declared act against it.
Until then , any rejected man could accuse woman that she is a witch and devil mistress. Ego had big price and when women dared to reject men, it was big risk for her. This story is sad example how far disappointed people can go in attempts to prove their ego.