In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World, Malcolm Gaskill joins us to investigate a historical incident of witches and witchcraft in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1651. [Read more…] about Witches and Witchcraft in Springfield, Massachusetts
The new book Witches and Warlocks of New York: Legends, Victims, and Sinister Spellcasters (Globe Pequot, 2022) by Lisa LaMonica is a collection of legends and historical accounts about witches and warlocks from the Empire State. [Read more…] about Witches and Warlocks of New York
Each fall, tens of thousands of people from around the world flock to Sleepy Hollow in Westchester County, New York to visit the burial ground made famous in Washington Irving’s 1819 tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. In Irving’s tale of “the Headless Horseman,” a German soldier is said to return to the grave-site, in search of his head that was lost during America’s Revolutionary War. [Read more…] about Hulda of Bohemia: The Accused Witch of Sleepy Hollow
In what is now New England, the first witch trial is believed to have occurred in Springfield, Mass., in 1645 and the first hanging, that of Alse Young of Windsor, Conn., in 1647. Young’s daughter Alice Beamon was also condemned some 30 years later, but survived.
A fervor for hunting witches in the mid-1600s led to an increase in prosecutions in New England and New York. Men and women would be accused of witchcraft within New York’s colonial borders into the mid-1700s and these trials would have a lasting impact on the families of the accused, the colonies and the country.
The Connecticut Witch Trial Exoneration Project is a growing team of people, including descendants, authors, historians and others working with Connecticut State Representative Jane Garibay to overturn the convictions of 46 men and women unjustly accused, and in some cases tried and hanged, for the crime of witchcraft in Colonial Connecticut in the years 1647 through 1697. [Read more…] about Connecticut Witch Trial Exoneration Project Seeks Justice For Wrongfully Accused
There have been quite a number of witchcraft trials in what is now New York State, including in Westchester County, and on Long Island. In the midst of the American Revolution, in the town of Salem (now near the New York-Vermont border in Washington County, NY), there was another witch trial, of a sort.
Salem, NY, much like Salem, MA, has a very religious past. The community is said to be founded by Presbyterian Rev. Dr. Thomas Clark, who had emigrated from Ireland in the mid-1760s with his congregation, part of a Presbyterian schism. Clark’s congregation first settled in nearby Stillwater, on the Hudson River but eventually landed in what is now Salem, NY, where they purchased a 25,000 acres among the mostly New England settlers already established there. [Read more…] about 1777 Claims of Witchcraft In Salem, Washington County
In the United States, the first witch trial is believed to have occurred in Springfield, Mass., in 1645. A fervor for hunting witches led to an increase in prosecutions in New England, and New York, in the 1650s and 1666s. Women would be accused of witchcraft within New York’s colonial borders into the mid-1700s. Some of these trials would have a lasting impact on the colony and the country.
The 1650s was not an easy time to be a woman, especially if a neighbor held a personal grudge. In East Hampton, Long Island in 1657 Elizabeth “Goody” Garlick was accused of witchcraft, after 16-year-old Elizabeth Gardiner Howell became ill and suffered fevered dreams and delusions. [Read more…] about Witchcraft Claims In East Hampton, Long Island
In the year 1658, at the south fork of Long Island, there was a small fishing and farming settlement called Easthampton.
Recently settled by English Puritans (by way of New England), it was governed by a small group of village aldermen, which was headed by Lord Lion Gardiner, a former British military engineer who faithfully served English King Charles 1st during the Pequot War (1636-1638). [Read more…] about Witch, Be Gone! A Witch Trial Set In Long Island
In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we explore the specters and witches that haunted 17th-century Massachusetts. Our guide for this exploration is Emerson W. Baker, author of A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience (Oxford University Press, 2014). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/053