All through history and even now in some countries, people have been executed because of witchcraft.. Their fates involved being burned at the stake, hanged, or by other deadly means. It’s a morbid thought, but what else is morbid that some people would convict others so they could take their land or they just didn’t like the person. It’s easy to say that there has been a lot of witch hysteria in history. It’s the best bet that the accused was actually innocent. A good example of that is America’s own Salem witch trials.
1. Elizabeth Clarke
Elizabeth Clarke was the first woman of many who was the victim of the Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins. It all started when a tailor accused her and Hopkins took over the case. Through torture she named other women, which led to the start of mass trials and executions. Clarke was hanged for being a witch. The Witchfinder General’s reign of terror lasted from 1645 to 1647.
2. George Burroughs
George Burroughs was executed during the Salem witch trials. It was in 1692 when he was charged. Like said before some cases involved jealousy, which he was tried because of accusations of his own enemies. Burroughs was even a Puritan minster! Really this all happened because of a debt. Like every case in the Salem trials, it was just a petty one.
3. Agnes Waterhouse
Nicknamed Mother Waterhouse, Agnes Waterhouse was executed in 1566. She’s considered to be the first woman in England to be executed because of charges of witchcraft. Before her execution she confessed that she turned her cat in a toad, she tried to harm her neighbors with spells, and couldn’t say her prayers in English because Satan wouldn’t let her. For those who would like to read more about the account of her trial and other Chelmford witches can read it here.
4. Matteuccia de Francesco
Matteuccia de Francesco was executed in 1428 after she confessed. Her confession was that she selling love potions. She even admitted that she rode on the back of the devil in the shape of a fly. She was known as the “Witch of Ripabianca.” This happened in Rome and by the way she was a nun too. The question arises did she admit this because of extreme torture or was she really a witch? That’s what makes all of these historical cases chilling because of the similarities.
So those are some historical cases about people that were convicted and executed because of being ‘witches.’ These four are just a small part of a large history of the subject. Basically if you were slightly different during a mass witch hysteria, you would find yourself like these four victims. It’s a scary thing, which it’s even scarier to think that this is happening still to this day.