Don’t Burn Witches
Their spirits will seek immediate retribution.
Plus, it’s mean. Seriously, don’t be an ass.
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Storyline: Before there was Batman, there was GOTHAM. Everyone knows the name Commissioner Gordon. He is one of the crime world’s greatest foes, a man whose reputation is synonymous with law and order. But what is known of Gordon’s story and his rise from rookie detective to Police Commissioner? What did it take to navigate the multiple layers of corruption that secretly ruled Gotham City, the spawning ground of the world’s most iconic villains? And what circumstances created them – the larger-than-life personas who would become Catwoman, The Penguin, The Riddler, Two-Face and The Joker?
Just like each herb and crystal has certain properties and strength, so do actions taken during rituals and spells. When writing spells it is important to include the proper actions to make sure your spell is as effective as possible.
Burning - Burning an object is a common practice in spells and rituals. Fire is considered a cleansing and activating force.
If you want to destroy something’s influence, burn it and dispose of the ashes away from your home.
If you want to set something into motion, burn objects related to the situation to ash.
If you want to activate certain energies, burn objects related to those involved.
If you are performing a curse or hex, burn the object in the flame of a candle.
Burying/Abandoning - A Witch might bury and object for many reasons. They might want to put something to rest, perform a slow spell, or banish something. There are different ways in which one can bury an object to accomplish a desired outcome:
If you want to keep something close, bury the object in your back yard.
If you want to attract something, bury the object under the front door step
If you want to disperse something to a distance, throw the object into a crossroads
If you want to fix an influence, inter the object in a five-spot pattern
If you want something to work by means of spirits, bury the object in a graveyard (but don’t disrupt those buried there!)
If you want to hide something’s point of origin, conceal the object in a tree
If you want something/someone to work by stealth, hide the object in clothing or on objects
If you want an influence to begin or strengthen, throw the object East
If you want an influence to end or weaken, throw the object West
Rubbing - Rubbing an object can be the easiest and most immediate way to experience witchcraft. Transferring and garnering energy from objects can be done through physical contact with an object.
If you want to put energy into an object, rub it with your left hand
If you want to gather energy from an object, rub it with your right hand
If you want to bring positivity, rub clockwise
If you want to bring negativity, rub counter clockwise
If you want to use crystals to heal, rub the appropriate stone on the effected part of the body.
Soaking - Water is one of the main elements used in witchcraft. It comes in many forms with many different properties and uses.
If you want something to move away and sink, throw it in running water
If you want something’s influence to rise and fall cyclically, float it in a tidal estuary
If you want to protect or cleanse something, soak an object in rain water
If you are focused on your personal goals, soak your object in sea water
If you want to bring about transformation, soak your object in snow/melted snow
If you’re trying to make a wish come true, soak your object in well water
If you want to banish, soak your object in harbor water
if you are holding on to anger towards someone (especially a person who is no longer in your life), sit in a quiet place, burn your favorite incense, and write that person a letter. write down every single thought and emotion you feel towards that person. when you are done, burn the letter in a cauldron or fireproof bowl. as you burn it, repeat out loud “you no longer have power in my life” until the letter has turned to ash. collect the ash and use it to make black salt.
In Memory of those who died in the Salem Witch Hysteria of March 1692 - April 1693
Bridget Bishop An older woman, Bishop had a reputation for gossiping and promiscuity, but when it came to witchcraft, she insisted to her judicial accusers
that “I have no familiarity with the devil.” Nevertheless, Bishop was
the first convicted witch hanged on what later became known as Gallows
Sara Good After her first marriage to an indentured
servant left her deep in debt, Good married a laborer who worked in
exchange for food and lodging, and the two eked out a meager existence
in Salem Village. She was among the first suspects identified by the
female children when they were questioned by magistrates in February
1692. Good protested her innocence, but officials insisted upon
questioning her young daughter, and the child’s timid answers were
construed as proof of Good’s guilt. Good was pregnant at the time of her
conviction, and officials stayed her execution until she could give
birth. The infant died in prison, and in July 1692, Good herself was
hanged. Defiant to the end, Good’s final words were a warning to her
tormentors: “If you take my life away, God will give you blood to
Elizabeth How The Ipswich woman was a kind soul who
tenderly took care of her husband John How, who was blind. Nevertheless,
something about her aroused others’ ire. Neighbors accused her of
causing both their cows and their young daughter to die after they
quarreled with her, and when she sought to become a member of a local
church congregation, neighbors and kin opposed her. They subsequently
experienced a spate of injured animals and other bad luck, which they
interpreted as supernatural acts of revenge. In court, her own
brother-in-law, Captain John How, accused her of killing his sow and
inflicting upon him a painful numbness in his hand that made it
impossible for him to work. She was also accused of sending her spectral
form to attack a young girl and attempt to drag her into Salem pond.
“God knows, I am innocent of anything of this nature,” she testified.
But even though other witnesses vouched for her character, she was
convicted and executed.
Susannah Martin A widow in her late
sixties, Martin was the wife of a blacksmith and the mother of eight. In
the 1670s, she previously was accused of witchcraft and infanticide,
but her husband had successfully countered the charges by suing her
accusers for slander. By 1692, however, he had died, and when 15 of her
neighbors accused her of bewitching them or causing their farm animals
to die, she had to confront the charges alone. Some historians have
speculated that the accusations against Martin were linked to an
inheritance dispute in which she was involved. Deeply religious, she
comforted herself by reading “her worn old Bible” in jail as she awaited
Rebecca Nurse An elderly woman in ill health and a
respected member of the church, Nurse was among the second wave of
suspects accused by the children. In her initial court hearing, Nurse
protested her innocence, but when her youthful accusers cried out in
fake pain and performed contortions to suggest that they were being
tormented by her, prosecutors took her impassive reaction as a sign of
guilt. She was bound over for trial and executed.
As a young woman, Wildes was considered glamorous and forward, and
rumor had it that she had once engaged in illicit sex. The accusations
of witchcraft against her actually began decades before the Salem witch
trials, when she married a widower, John Wildes, which raised the ire of
his first wife’s family. The sister of Wildes’ first wife, Mary
Reddington, accused Sarah Wildes of bewitching her, prompting John
Wildes to threaten a slander suit unless she stopped. When one of Sarah
Wildes’ new stepchildren, Jonathan Wildes, began to behave strangely,
some took it for demonic possession, and the suspicions against Sarah
Wildes continued to simmer. In 1692, things finally boiled over. Wildes’
son Ephraim was a local constable in Topsfield, and protested her
innocence when she was arrested by his superior, Marshal George Herrick.
One witness fingered her as being part of a coven of specters who
whispered at the foot of a dying child’s bed, while others accused her
of telekinetically sabotaging their ox cart after they borrowed her plow
without her permission. Yet another testified that after quarreling
with Wildes, she felt an apparently spectral cat walk across her in the
middle of the night. Bizarre as the case against her was, Wildes was
convicted and executed.
Rev. George Burrough The only Puritan
minister to be indicted and executed in the witch trials, Burrough was
accused by Andover and Salem Village residents of being a ringleader and
priest of the devil in the witch coven. Part of the evidence against
Burrough was his exceptional physical strength, which was viewed as a
sign of satanic assistance. Puritan inquisitor Rev. Cotton Mather, who
suspected Burrough of being a Baptist and deviating from Puritan
practices, attended his trial and urged the jury to convict him, which
it did. When Burrough was on the ladder to the scaffold, he gave an
impassioned speech protesting his innocence, and concluded by reciting
the Lord’s Prayer—which, supposedly, witches were unable to do. His
conspicuous religious fervency prompted some of the onlookers to shed
tears and wonder if a terrible mistake had been made.
This victim of the witch hunt is best remembered, perhaps, for being
denounced by one of the inquisitors, Rev. Cotton Mather, as a “rampant
hag.” The daughter of one of the founding families of Andover, MA,
Carrier was married to a servant and the mother of four children. She
was an independent, strong-willed person who didn’t like to defer to
those who imagined themselves as her betters, and their dislike may have
led to her becoming a target of the accusations. Carrier was fearless
enough to denounce her youthful accusers. “It is a shameful thing that
you should mind these folks that are out of their wits,” she admonished
the court. Unfortunately, that didn’t save her from execution.
George Jacobs, Sr.
A twice-married father of three in his early seventies, Jacobs was
accused by one of his servants, Sarah Churchill, and by his own
granddaughter, Margaret. Both of them had been fingered as witches and
may have been trying to save their necks by implicating others. Others,
however, soon came forward to join them, including women who claimed
that Jacobs’ spectral projection had beaten them with a walking stick.
But the most damning evidence, in the minds of his inquisitors, was a
slight protuberance on his right shoulder that they believed to be the
“witch’s teat” that the devil gave to those who’d made a covenant with
him. Jacobs offered an unusual defense, arguing that although he was
innocent, the devil may have taken his form to commit mischief. The
court, however, decided that such shape-shifting could only have
occurred with his consent, and he was condemned to death and executed.
After inheriting a substantial fortune from his father, Proctor went
on to become a successful farmer, entrepreneur, and tavern keeper.
Unfortunately for him, he made the mistake of criticizing the young
girls who were accusing witches, saying that if they were to be
believed, “we should all be devils and witches quickly,” and recommended
that they be whipped or even hung for their lies. After being falsely
accused by their servant Mary Warren, Proctor and his wife were arrested
in 1692. The sheriff went to their house and seized their goods and
provisions, and sold off his cattle, leaving the Proctors’ children
without a means of support. Proctor petitioned the court to move his
trial to Boston, or at the very least, to change the magistrates,
because the locals “have already undone us in our estates, and that will
not serve their turns without our innocent blood.” It was to no avail.
Proctor was convicted and executed in August 1692. His wife was spared
because she was pregnant.
Martha Cory Another respected
church member who was among the second wave of suspects accused by the
children. She was hanged in September 1692.
Mary Esty Some
historians’ accounts alternately spell her name as Easty or Eastey. The
sister of fellow defendant Rebecca Nurse, Esty insisted in court that “I
am clear of this sin” and that she had prayed against the devil “all my
days.” Her demeanor was so convincing that even her questioner,
magistrate John Hawthorne, was moved to turn to Esty’s accusers and ask,
“Are you certain this is the woman?” They responded by writhing and
screaming in feigned demonic possession, but nevertheless, Esty was
released from jail. In the days that followed, however, one of her
accusers appeared to fall ill, and two of the others claimed that they
had seen Esty’s specter tormenting her. Esty was arrested once again,
and this time she was convicted and hanged.
Ann Pudeator The
twice-widowed mother of six, who worked as a midwife and nurse,
inherited property from her second husband. In male-dominated colonial
New England society, a self-sufficient professional woman was contrary
to what was perceived as the rightful order of things, and that may have
made her a target for witchcraft allegations. The testimony of
witnesses—including a girl who claimed Pudeator had tortured her by
impaling a voodoo doll, and another who accused her of shape-shifting
into a bird—was augmented by a constable’s discovery of “curious
containers of various ointments” in her home. (The latter, apparently,
were either foot oil or grease that Pudeator used to make soap.) Despite
her protestations of innocence, she was condemned to death and hanged.
Born in Boston, Wardell was a carpenter who followed his brother
Benjamin to Salem to build houses. He was one of the few, and perhaps
the only, defendant who actually had dabbled in magic, when he
occasionally amused his neighbors by playing at telling their fortunes, a
practice that was outlawed as black magic by the Puritans.
Nevertheless, Wardell’s bigger crime may have been marrying a younger
widow, Sarah Hawkes, in 1673. Her sizable inheritance—combined with his
carpentry work—made the couple conspicuously affluent in a society where
petty resentments and envy often blossomed into suspicions that someone
had satanic assistance. After his arrest in 1692, Wardell—perhaps in an
effort to save himself—conceded that he had agreed to a contract with
the devil, who had promised to make him wealthy, and even confessed to
evil deeds that he hadn’t been accused of. He later tried to recant, but
it was too late. In September 1692, he was hanged.
The wife of John Parker of Salem, she was arrested in May 1692 after
being accused by the same servant who fingered John Proctor and his
wife. Accused of “sundry acts of witchcraft, she was tried in September
1692, and convicted and hanged shortly afterward.
A wealthy widow from Andover, she apparently was unrelated to Alice
Parker but was related to one of the other suspects, Frances Hutchins.
Parker and her daughter Sarah were arrested and accused of witchcraft as
well. When she entered the courtroom at her trial in September 1692,
several of the young female accusers fell into writhing spells, even
before her name was announced. Once witness testified that she had seen
Mary Parker’s spirit, perched high on a beam above the court, at one of
the hearings in Salem. Parker was convicted and hanged shortly
John Willard Willard, a sheriff’s officer who
lived in Salem, was ordered to bring in several of the accused. He
declined, apparently out of a belief that they were innocent. As a
result, he was himself accused. After initially escaping arrest in Salem
by fleeing to Nashawag, about 40 miles away, he was taken into custody
and put on trial in August 1692. The girls who claimed to have been
afflicted by witchcraft testified that a spectral being that they called
“the shining man” had materialized and prevented Willard’s specter from
cutting one of their throats. Willard was found guilty and hanged
Wilmot Redd Also known as Wilmet Reed, she
was the only Marblehead resident to be condemned for witchcraft. Known
locally as “Mammy,” Redd was an eccentric with a volatile temper, and
liked to argue with her neighbors. Among other crimes, she was accused
of sending her spectral doppelganger to Salem to torment one of the
young girls who instigated the witch hunt. She was arrested, brought to
Salem for trial, and then hanged in September 1692, in the final wave of
Margaret Scott Born in England in 1615, Scott
moved to New England with her parents at a young age and married a
struggling tenant farmer, Benjamin Scott. The couple had seven children,
only three of whom lived to adulthood. After her husband died in 1670,
Scott lived off his meager savings until they were exhausted. In her old
age, she was forced to beg for support from her neighbors and passersby
to survive, which made her a target of resentment and probably led to
her arrest. At Scott’s trial, witnesses testified that she had visited
them in spectral form and choked and pinched them. She was found guilty
and hanged in September 1692, in the final wave of executions.
In 1692, when a woman named Elizabeth Ballard came down with a fever
that baffled doctors, witchcraft was suspected, and a search for the
responsible witch began. Two afflicted girls from Salem village, Ann
Putnam and Mary Walcott, were taken to Andover to seek out the witch,
and fell into fits at the sight of Ann Foster. Ann, 72, a widow of seven
years, was arrested and taken to Salem prison. A careful reading of the
trial transcripts reveals that Ann resisted confessing to the ‘crimes’
she was accused of, despite being “put to the question” (i.e. tortured)
multiple times over a period of days. However, her resolve broke when
her daughter Mary Lacey, similarly accused of witchcraft, accused her
own mother of the crime in order to save herself and her child. The
transcripts reveal the anguish of a mother attempting to shield her
child and grandchild by taking the burden of guilt upon herself.
Convicted, Ann died in the Salem jail after 21 weeks on December 3,
1692, before the trials were discredited and ended.