psa for non-Americans and non-New England Americans
you know the Salem witch trials? that thing where nobody got burned and nobody was an actual witch but it was still a big deal because 19 innocent people were executed?
well the place we call Salem now was not where that happened. that place used to be called Salem Town. the trials happened in what was then called Salem Village (also sometimes “the farms”). it was an agrarian community with stronger Puritan values that sometimes clashed with the more worldly trading center Salem Town
after the trials Salem Village was so ashamed that it changed its name to Danvers and went on to experience a bunch more dark and tragic stuff. Salem Town said “sweet, tourism!” and jumped on the witch bandwagon and is now a center of pretty nice magic shops, pretty tacky tourist attractions, and pretty pretty historical dance events
Danvers has a laser tag place and they used to have a Denny’s but it closed
Nábrók- The name given to a style of Icelandic pants found by historians, believed to be from the 17th century. The name literally translates to “Necropants” for a very creepy reason; They are made from human skin. Sorcerers and witches would wear the trousers all day and night under their clothes as a sort of underwear in order to bring them wealth.
Politely being asked by your sorcerer friend to be used in a pair of Necropants after your death was a great honour in 17th century Iceland, but making an authentic pair of Nábrók was a difficult practice for the witch. They would only bring prosperity if the maker/wearer stole a coin from a widow and placed it in the scrotum of the garment. When the wearer died, if they did not pass the Nábrók down to their children they would be infected with lice as soon as they passed away, but if the trousers were passed on, they could bring wealth to future wearers. Above is the only surviving pair of Necropants, and is on display at the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft in Holmavik, Iceland.
• Gets half of their magickal tools at antique shops
• Is pumped at the thought of finding old gardening or divination books
• 1OO% skilled at putting anything to use
• Has the most lovely, history-scented altar
• Would live in vintage clothing if given the option
Supposedly haunted by the 20 “witches” who were put to death in 1692 and 1693 during the Salem Witch Trials, Salem is a popular destination for those fascinated by the paranormal and morbid. Some of the “witches” are said to haunt the place they were hanged, Gallow Hills, while other supposedly haunt other areas in the town. One of the must see sights is the House of Seven Gables, pictured above.
• The history of witchcraft
• Famous witches, if you’d like
• Types of witches
• Types of magick (white magick, chaos magick, etc)
• Types of spells (curses, hexes, etc)
• Types of divination (tarot, scrying, etc)
• Talismans vs Sigils (and what each are)
• Maybe some alphabets if that’s your thing
• Some witchy symbols
• Deities (For pagan witches)
• Let it spread from there!
day in 1692, three women were brought before local magistrates in Salem
Village, Massachusetts, thus beginning the infamous Salem Witch Trials. The
women were Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and Tituba and all three had been accused
of witchcraft after local girls began experiencing strange fits. Given the lack
of medical knowledge at the time and the preponderance of beliefs in the
supernatural, witchcraft was the only logical explanation for their condition.
The accused women matched the description of the stereotypical witch: Good was
a beggar, Osborne rarely went to church and Tituba was a slave of different
ethnicity. The women were interrogated by magistrates John Hathorne and
Jonathan Corwin and Tituba eventually confessed to witchcraft, claiming Good
and Osborne were her co-conspirators. The three were then sent to jail; Osborne
died in jail, Good was hanged and Tituba (as a useful confessor) was kept alive
and eventually released after the trials ended. The initial interrogation was
followed by many more accusations of witchcraft throughout the village and the
surrounding area, fueled perhaps by local rivalries, poisoned grain or just
mass fear. The manhunt resulted in 19 ‘witches’ being hanged, one pressed to
death and hundreds more imprisoned in horrendous conditions. The event is a
famous example of mass hysteria and has become a cautionary tale for religious
extremism and false accusations.
Women have always been healers. They were the unlicensed doctors and anatomists of Western history. They were abortionists, nurses, and counselors. They were pharmacists, cultivating healing herbs and exchanging secrets of their uses. They were midwives, travelling from home to home and village to village. For centuries women were doctors without degrees, barred from books and lectures, learning from each other, and passing on experience from neighbor to neighbor and mother to daughter. They were called “wise women” by the people, witches or charlatans by the authorities. Medicine is part of our heritage as women, our history, our birthright.
Witches Midwives and Nurses: A History of Women Healers- Barbara Ehrenreich & Deirdre English