On this day in 1612, the Pendle and Samlesbury “witches” stood trial in perhaps Britain’s most infamous witch trials. The Samlesbury women —Jane Southworth, Jennet Brierley and Ellen Brierley—were accused of child murder and cannibalism at Lancaster Assizes and found not guilty. At the same place, on the same day, nine women and two men from Pendle were accused of witchcraft related to a murder. Ten were found guilty and executed.
From terror during the Spanish Inquisition to 17th century English "witch hunters," here are five of the most terrifying witch trials throughout history.
The residents claimed the woman, 37, who gave her names as Gifty and Afia, fell from the sky at about 3:30am on a tape at a block factory in the area.
According to legend, George Pikingill literally died in the shadow of the cross, cursing God and the residents of Canewdon, England, where he was both revered and feared. Since his death in 1909, his stature has only grown; depending on who you believe, he was either an uneducated, but gifted, local cunning man, or he was the father of modern witchcraft.
People in the local political class have reportedly resorted to witchcraft in order trounce their competitors in the 2017 general election. According to Chakacha artist turned evangelist and gospel singer – Princess Farida Migwalla, politicians were doing all manners of ungodly things just to become victorious in the upcoming polls.
Truth and jealousy in Ireland’s three most famous witchcraft trials.
People have always been superstitious, blaming misfortune and ill health on gods, demons, or spirits. Perhaps the most beloved scapegoat in history however has been the witch—a mysterious woman brewing elixirs and flying to her weekly gatherings. To protect themselves from these supposedly evil and powerful women, people came up with the most curious protective methods you could imagine.
A 15th-century chapel in the Scottish city of Aberdeen was equipped as a prison for accused witches snared during the city's "Great Witch Hunt" in 1597.
Black rituals scared communities over two decades leading to police and church leader warnings
For many in Assam, witchcraft is real. Thankfully, there are women like Birubala Rabha to set people straight
Huddersfield research looked into whether the county was a good place to be a witch in the 1600s
New France was a more enlightened place. It probably helped that women here could aspire to a social prominence denied their sisters in the Puritan colonies. It’s no coincidence that Anne Lamarque was a businesswoman independent of her husband and that she had friends, or at least acquaintances, in positions of authority.
My recent picture of HMS Barham leaving Portsmouth Harbour in the 1930s reminded Calum Kennedy of the unusual connection between the battleship, Portsmouth and witchcraft.
It boils down to a chilling statistics: a death is reported every third day in modern India for witchcraft.
The case of Glory Bassey, a 31-year-old woman from Akwa Ibom state in Southern Nigeria demonstrates the destructive effects of witchcraft beliefs in Nigeria and the threat which the continued belief in occult forces poses to the lives and well being of the people if these mystical notions are not challenged, debunked and dispelled.
Since he was born a year after the Witchcraft and Conjuration Act of 1563 brought about the era of the witch trials in England, it is hardly a surprise that witches and witchcraft would come to feature in Shakespeare’s work.
Medicine at this time was still prone to a belief in the superstitious. Bartisch believed a patient could be diagnosed through their astrological chart or horoscope and that magic, astrology and indeed witchcraft itself played an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
Was 1600s Yorkshire a good place to be a witch? A history researcher at the University of Huddersfield has been finding out, and her investigations have resulted in a new online article.
Can divination be done through algorithm?
Hardly a new practice, witch-hunting continues across Assam, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand among others, despite law forbidding the same