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How to Find a Witch During the Salem Witch Trials #Halloween

by Maryann Pisano on September 24, 2015


Happy Halloween!  It’s that spooky time of year where pumpkins, witches, and ghosts become more appealing.  But, can you imagine living in an era when people were actually ACCUSED and hanged for being a “witch”?  Back in Salem, Mass. this was once a reality.  Here are some things that people looked for when trying to decipher if you were a witch:

1. Witch Cake

What’s a witch cake?  It’s when you take the urine of the witch in question, mix it with rye meal, and make a little patty.  Then, feed it to the dog.  If the person afflicted is a “witch,” then she’ll cry out in agony when the dog ingests her urine.

2. A Stack of Bibles

If a “witch” is heavier or lighter than a stack of Bibles, she’s guilty.  If she’s the same weight as the stack, she’s not guilty.

3. Moles, Birthmarks, or Scars

If a “witch” had a mole, birthmark or scar, that meant that it was the Devil’s Mark.  If you pricked the Mark with a blade and it didn’t bleed, it meant that the “witch” was guilty.

4. Don’t Talk to Yourself!  

If someone ever muttered or talked to themselves, it meant they were a witch, supposedly to cast spells on others.  Sarah Good was hanged on July 19, 1692 for that very reason.

5. See if They Can Say the Lord’s Prayer

If someone could say The Lord’s Prayer, that proved to the jury that they were not a “witch.”

6. Good Hearing

If an elderly woman was hard of hearing, that meant that that he or she was a “witch.”

7. Sarcasm Can Kill

In Salem, if someone was sarcastic or made jokes with others, this usually meant that they were a witch.  Sadly for John Willard, he made a joke that too many people were being hanged for being witches.  Guess what?  He was accused himself.

8. Dreaming of Native Americans

If someone in the community had a dream or nightmare about the Native Americans, that meant that they were a “witch.”  Yikes.

9. Death Do Us Part?

Women who were married more than once were accused of witchcraft in Salem.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Chazz November 7, 2015 at 5:43 pm

If you are interested in books about the witch trials in America, you need to check out One of Windsor, by Beth M. Caruso. It is a fantastic story about Alice Young, the first person hanged in America for being a witch. That’s right, before Salem there was Alice! This book is receiving praise from historians and academics as “the best work of research-based historical fiction about New England witchcraft trials to date, unearthing a little-known case with rich detail and skill.” Give it a read. The story will captivate your senses. For details, go here:


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