Sorry pagans and witches, the Salem witch trial victims are not YOUR poster children

Proctor’s Ledge, the real site where the witch trial hangings took place

On the eve of March 1, 2016 I noticed a number of online memes posted in social media regarding the Salem witch craft trials, and remembering the victims.  This of itself is not bothersome.  However, what I find disturbing is that in context of the memes, they are typically portrayed as if they are witches, died for the plight of defending witchcraft, or sayings about them being in some kind of witchcraft type of afterlife like “summerland”. Equally disturbing is the amount of people who tout and parade them around, lack even basic education or research about these victims, the events or the actual trials.   Many even think they were burnt at the stake!   Come on people, if you sincerely care about these victims, want to honor their memory beyond using them and their memory to buttress a persecution claim, don’t you think even a little bit of research about them, and what happened is in order?  Seriously, you really don’t have to do a lot of leg work just to find out exactly who they were, what they were, why this happened, and how they all died.  If you do your homework and give an honest assessment it is easy to see why they are not your poster children.  But I shall help you out here…

No one in Salem was burnt at the stake! 

For those of you who think they were, or share any photos depicting them being burnt at the sake, you can stop right there!  NO one, and I mean absolutely NO ONE was burnt at any stakes in Salem for witchcraft.   England declared such a method of execution to be illegal in the colonies, and the colonists were under English rule.   19 people were hanged at proctor’s ledge (Not gallows hill like typically believed and espoused), and one man, Giles Corey was slowly crushed to death by stones for refusing to enter a plea at his arraignment.  Four others died in prison.

There were no witches (confessed or otherwise) executed!

If you do any kind of research on these people and the issues that happened, it becomes increasingly obvious and apparent that if you confessed to witchcraft, your life was spared, you did prison time.   Those going through this knew this, that’s why one of the victims first confessed, but then made the fatal mistake of recanting knowing that taking back his confession was a death sentence.  Many others confessed and in doing so successfully saved their lives from dying by the noose, including the very first accused, Tituba.  Thus, logic and common sense should dictate to the researcher that if any of the executed were actually witches, they would have simply said they were as it would be deadlier for them to deny it.  Yet, these victims were actually so Christian and so faithful and true to the Christian God that they would rather pay with their lives remaining true and strong for him, than to ever claim anything they see as against him.  In doing so, they believed that they’d have their rewards in “Heaven”.  As Professor Emerson Baker who is a scholar and historian involved put it…

 “The ultimate sadness of the story is that they executed the most Christian of them all. Nobody who confessed to being a witch was executed. Only those so devoted that they wouldn’t lie to save their lives paid with their lives.” (1)

So as to any claims that they died defending, or for the cause of witches and pagans, it’s an emphatic NO!   They actually and obviously died in defense of THEIR own Christian religion and God and would be absolutely horrified in how they are paraded around any differently than this.

Why this happened

The simple answer starts out with several spoiled little brats, (From the Goodwin, Parris and Putnam family) who really deserved such a spanking they would need a cushion to sit down for a week, started behaving in bizarre ways claiming that witches caused it.   After this, the villagers saw this as a good opportunity to vet out the undesirables which included the out spoken/unpleasant, those who speak out against it, those  thought of as nuisances to their neighbors, or those who may have jealous neighbors or people wanting their land.

A very sad thing too is often the poor that suffered unfortunate experiences were very vulnerable to such an accusation. For instance, Margaret Scott, due to the loss of her husband, not only endured the heart ache a widow deals with, but also was left in poverty as a result of losing her husband.  As a result this forced this poor unfortunate lady to go begging for food and money for help from neighbors.  It hurts me personally to think of how here she is in a situation not of her control, already kicked down in life, getting further kicked down by the village that should have been kind and compassionate enough to protect and help her.  How cruel were these people?  Apparently, pretty cruel and calculated indeed.  Never the less she was among the few who were accused because their poverty level and begging caused a cruel society to see them more as nuisances and social outcasts to dispose of, rather than humans in need of help.  (2)

Then you have Samuel Wardwell, who was a victim of jealousy and perhaps, being in a wrong Christian religion.  He was a devoted Quaker and the Puritans frowned upon Quakers.  Moreover, he was a rags to riches story, marrying into a family that many felt was out of his league.   This angered his jealous neighbors and it wasn’t long before he was accused.  One thing that may seem to go against him is that he did fortune telling for sport.  Even though it was actually a common practice for people of these times to do things like fortune telling or other wives tales tricks, a bit of other vague types of folk magic, unless you were being accused of being a witch, it was perfectly socially acceptable to do these things. (The requirement back then for being a witch was doing magic AND in pact with the devil, or by authority of the devil.)   However, since he was accused, they would use this against him. He initially wrote up this elaborate confession about his use of witchcraft, pact with the devil, etc. realizing that this is how to save his own life.  But soon after, his conscious got the better of him, and being a devote Quaker, he recanted his confession even when he knew what would ultimately happen if he did.  Of course he was taken to trial, convicted and hanged.   Now some may say “aha” he was an executed witch because he dabbled in fortune telling for sport and may have had an interest in the occult.  Nope, sorry but he wasn’t.  There are tons of non witches the world over that do fortune telling, may be interested in reading about the occult, etc. who are not witches today. (3)

And then there is John Proctor who is a great example of one that was too out spoken against the witchcraft trials to go unnoticed.  (4)

Now this might come as a shock to some, but a Reverend was also charged, refused to confess and ultimately executed, apparently due to some prior issues he had with the Putnam family.  His name is Rev. George Burroughs (5)

These are just some of many examples that clearly show things that answer the question of “why”.  If you are someone that actually cares to read and learn about who all the vicims were, I recommend this following site…

Now that you understand who they were, why they died, what issues made them targets, why not honor them in a way that is pleasing to them?

Most pagans and witches I know have a great appreciation for ancestors and respect for the deceased and sincerely wish to honor in a respectful manner.  These people were so dead set against being called witches and wanted so badly to be known as the pious Christians that they were, that they paid dearly with their lives.   Knowing that, don’t you think that continuing to parade them around as if to imply they were witches, or for the cause of witches and pagans might be quite disrespectful to their memory?  That’s like continuing to do to them, what their accusers did to them long ago, minus the execution or prison factor, it’s still the same claims about them that they desperately did not want and died as a stand against it.  Consider this, lets say you are an initiated devoted Wiccan, everyone is aware of this fact, but when you pass, people constantly show up with Baptist Pastors at your grave, placing crosses and Christian statues all over it, while reading from the Bible over your remains or memorial site.  How is this an honor and respect to you?   Maybe you are the type that might claim not to mind this, it’s the thought that count, but you are not the spokes person for everyone.  There are plenty of people out there who would feel bothered, dishonored and disrespected by such an opposition of their personal beliefs that were dear and true to them being peddled at their site.  Among the salem victim population, and because they were hurt so badly over the utterance of “witches” and “witchcraft” I can imagine just how many of them are rolling in their graves or in absolute horror at the sight of Pagans or Witches who refuse to recognize them for who they were, and speak at their memorial as if they are in league with them, and leave artifacts behind that a witch or pagan might appreciate more.  Maybe leaving them a cross, reading from the Bible for them, talking about them being in heaven might be a better way of honoring strong Christians who died for their faith in Jesus Christ.  Remember, the whole purpose of honor and respecting some one is not for yourself but for them, so there is no reason why if a Pagan or Witch wants to honor them in a way that pleases them, they can’t do so in context of their Christian religion, anything otherwise is a self centered, selfish purpose.  Another way to honor them is stand up for them when you see someone touting them as a witch or to further buttress a Pagan Witch agenda. Speak up for them and out for them.  Educate the ignorant that peddles them as if they are poster children.






Further reading and resources:

The Salem Witch Trials Victims: Who Were They?

I figured I might as well add two in particular that I saw.

First one with the roses is not so bad.  It’s simply a notice of remembrance, of which I whole-heartily agree with remembering and memorializing.  

Its what I have seen people add to this via captoins coloring the victims witches that I had the issue with.  The Second picture, the problem with it is obvious.  Every year people come out with stuff like this, and carry on with their own fantasies about Salem and the victims, every year Historians and others who have researched this for many years have the frustrating task of trying to correct all this. 

50 thoughts on “Sorry pagans and witches, the Salem witch trial victims are not YOUR poster children

  1. I personally know this. I have recently found round I was Sarah Goode in a past life. (Yes, I believe in reincarnation. The U.S. is the only country which doesn’t believe in it). She was hanged. And she wasn’t a witch then. But, in this life, she is/i am. I guess my soul decided that, if I was to be accused of it, I might as well be it. Or…maybe I was a witch all along? Beyond that, we honor the witch trials because, as we can see here, witch trials are still going on…they are just sneakier and the witches don’t hang nor burn…they lose their jobs or kids,. They get verbally abused and condemned. They are discriminated against. Just saying.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re like the sixth person who I have read online say THEY are Sarah Goode, or at least WERE in their past life. Same for other names straight out of the Witch Trials. I believe in reincarnation. I don’t believe Sarah Goode reincarnated into six different people. At least one of you may be suffering from self delusion or wishful thinking. Just sayin’.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mark,

        Rebecca Nurse is another popular figure that many think they are. One of the Witches of Salem who is also a historian and tour guide, who also fully agrees and supports my blog on this issue told me they get approached every Halloween with Rebecca Nurse claims. As far as the person here, I was being polite enough to let it slide, but today I will point out, for some one who use to be Sarah Goode, I would think she’s know how to spell her last name properly. The real Sarah spelled her last name like this “Good”. Anyone who doubts this is welcome to go look at some scanned copies of original writing that shows this, plus her memorial plaque has it right. Also, some of the details that this person stated about a memory of the hanging was off, and most likely how this person thinks it was, rather than how it historically was.


    1. Thank you for your response. So, you realize that Sarah Good, just like Margaret Scott became a target because she was a poverty stricken beggar seen as a nuisance for the same reasons. Move over, she and her husband had been in a number of arguments with others in Salem village, making her unpopular or considered unpleasant by the village. Sadly, both of these are the reasons she got tagged.

      ” Beyond that, we honor the witch trials because, as we can see here, witch trials are still going on…they are just sneakier and the witches don’t hang nor burn…they lose their jobs or kids,. They get verbally abused and condemned. They are discriminated against. Just saying.”

      You see, self identified witches being discriminated against have nothing to do with Christians being wrongfully accused of being witches, that were being so strong and brave, they died for refusing to pretend to be witches in order to appease the courts. While self identified witches being discriminated against is wrong and there should be a stand against it, do so on it’s own merits that it is wrong and not because you or anyone want to take these Christians and use them for the cause. Huge difference between persecuted admitted witches, oppose to those who were not, or ever were being called witches against their will.

      These Christians that died are more likened to the persecutions you see in other parts of the world such as in Africa, innocent Africans who do not identify as witches, getting murdered, often in gruesome ways.


  2. Yeah. After my divorce, I was in the same position…pretty much. Lost my kids because I was too poor and because I was a witch. Yes, she somewhat unpleasant. So was I when I was poverty stricken and frustrated with lack of help.

    You are right but, know, this, 1) I was raised Catholic and was a natural witch and didn’t know it. I was clairsentient and clairaudient and an empath but didn’t understand that. I thought I was going crazy. So we don’t know whether they were natural witches and didn’t realize it. 2) you are right. There was paranoia running rampant in Salem. Just having a mole was grounds for being accused of witchcraft…and I have a heart shaped mole on my left breast! And Sarah Goode was accused cuz she got on people’s nerves…I do too at times….but, also, because she was caught holding and petting a bird in the woods. It may have flew into something and knocked itself out. She was probably showing it compassion. I watched a sparrow do that at work. I held and petted it until it woke up. It was so cool. But, the point is, she could have been and was accused of witchcraft because of that as much as her disposition (which I think was due to being scared and frustrated. She was middle-class and then was poor. So was I and I was scared and frustrated and angry about it.)

    I even know what her last words were and they were something I would definitely have said! It’s ironic. When I found out about her last words, moments, I had a sudden vision of standing on a weather worn wood platform and feeling a shocking, nerves sparking feeling and hearing those words come out of my mouth and feeling not only the nerve sparking
    Fear but anger and frustration, also…like “Damn it! I am not getting through to the idiot!”

    What is shocking is that my brother is so hateful towards me (and anyone who is not ultra conservative, that I had an epiphany that he may be the judge who hanged me reincarnated. We never got along.

    Anyway, no, Sarah Goode wasn’t a witch. At least, not knowingly. But, in this life? Hell ya she is. Maybe out of spite. But I doubt it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you again for your thoughtful response. Just to be clear, when I say unpleasant, I don’t intend to mean that I think she was unpleasant. I might have found her to be quite pleasant, and even quite just in whatever it was she argued with other villagers about. The terms unpleasant and unpopular is to describe how the other villagers viewed her.

      Sarah Good was actually accused because Tituba (the first confessed witch) identified her as one. Her public reputation was merely used against her. Sadly, her four year old daughter then was coerced to accuse her as well, which proved to be really damaging. If that wasn’t bad enough, the brats pretending to be afflicted acted up at her trial as well.
      “You are a liar. I am no more a witch than you are a wizard, and if you take away my life God will give you blood to drink,” -Sarah Good-
      (I would say her words were pretty convicting against her accusers, and her stand as a Christian)

      When the innocent convicted were executed, they were brought to Proctor’s ledge. They were made to climb a bit up a ladder, then the noose was placed over their necks and then strung around a branch. After this, they were tossed in the nearby crevice.


  3. It’s such a small number of extremely stupid people that it’s really not even worth wasting the time clarifying. Those people are to stupid to understand this article anyways, you’re preaching to the choir. Unfortunately stupid people are often more outspoken.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Maybe he could have put it nicer, but in all honestly, I understand and feel his pain and frustration, and to be honest, there truly are some very stupid people out there. While I don’t know Thomas personally, I do know of Thomas and that he happens to be a reputable historian with quite a bit of passion for this subject that he is an expert on. In fact, he is one of the people worth seeing and talking to when stopping by Salem ma. He not only has this way of making the actual historical facts exciting to learn about (far more exciting than the fantasies and myths people insist on holding onto), he adds in additional stuff that is known more to locals that you basically won’t find on the internet. He, like me, have both had run ins with people that, if they weren’t stupid, they behaved that way and refuse to listen and learn. Heck, not too far below, I just had someone telling me I should research just because I focused on the executed group of innocent victims accused of witchcraft. I guess it was a bit much for them to fathom that if I know of, and am able to disclose the type of details I did about the executed ones, including leaving links to help the interested do their own research, then I would obviously be aware of the matters pertaining to the ones that weren’t executed as well, or so you’d think.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Especially if the people are stupid, and do not want to admit it! If people call me stupid I do not care; what stupid people think is of no relevance – because smart people know smart people.


      3. I am one of those people. I want the truth. Not what someone wants others to believe. I am someone who wants to know the actual truth. There is so much falsified truth out there that I’m not sure where to begin. But I also believe that everybody has the choice to believe whichever they want whether it be wrong or right and to be allowed to have there own thoughts without conviction. Remember it isn’t what a person thinks that is the problem, it is their actions and there intent that makes something wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I recently found out I’m a natural witch born Catholic and been on my own sice I was 17….anyways I recently was contacted by a long lost relative from my dad’s side of the family and he’s big on genealogy he researched and found I’m descent from Mary Bradbury aka Mary Perkins of Salem….she was accused but escaped to Maine and was a witch ….not all of the accused that was listed died some of them escaped and was just listed as dead he even looked into it and found that out…so I think you should do more research on this subject before advertising it….thanx and blessed be


    1. “:not all of the accused that was listed died some of them escaped and was just listed as dead he even looked into it and found that out…so I think you should do more research on this subject before advertising it”

      Exactly what about this blog makes you ASSUME that I am unaware of the multiple people who evaded arrest. escaped or were in prison awaiting their day in court? “No schit Sherlock” is a phrase that comes to mind for me right about now, to be honest. I would think the fact that I pointed out that 4 died in prison, as well as shared some excellent research sites would have been a strong indicator to you, that I am more than proficient on these facts as well. As a matter of fact, this being quite local to me, I am also privy to word of mouth folklore as well as things not mentioned on websites. Also, you do realize that she was never listed among the dead right? She was also one of the few who had much of the town defending her, and according to her in addition to those that knew, loved her and backed up her claims, she was a Christian.

      However, this blog is specifically about the convicted condemned and executed, since this is what I noticed the memes to be pertaining to. Did this go unnoticed?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes we already know all of that, but the fact remains that many were killed, some burned in Europe for being accused of witchcraft. That alone is enough for us to want to remember them and what happened.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Greensmith was an unfortunate victim of Hysteria in Hartford Ct, and not related the Salem incidents, nor the memes about Salem that were all over the place on the eve of March 1st. Also, it was his wife that confessed, not him. However, we will stick with specifically Salem Hysteria, and victims from here on in to stay on topic. Thank you.


  6. If everyone already knew all that, then I would not have done this blog. 🙂

    Yes, many people were burnt and hung in Europe for accusations of witchcraft. However, please review the start of my blog which is clearly expressing….

    “On the eve of March 1, 2016 I noticed a number of online memes posted in social media regarding the Salem witch craft trials, and remembering the victims. This of itself is not bothersome.”

    Therefore, this is specifically about Salem, and what I saw concerning memes and comments on the Eve of March.

    You will also notice that I stated that remembrance is NOT bothersome. In fact, before Proctor’s hill got publicly outed all over the news as the actual hanging site, I have been going there to pay my own respects and remembrance to the victims of Salem Hysteria for quite some time.

    I am not sure I am understanding where in my blog gives you any impression that I have any issues with remembering, even memorializing the victims, when my issues quite clearly involve other things that are being done in regards to these victims rather than respecting, honoring, and remembering them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. the hostility and self-importance here make me not give a damn about your righteous indignation. You failed to teach me my lesson on not honoring a sad marker in US history.


    1. And yet, you respond with personal attacks to an opinion and thoughts that differed from your own. Excuse you, but “Self importance”? Yes, this happens to be MY blog, with MY thoughts, feelings, or whatever I feel like sharing, and yes I AM *important* on my own damn blog just like YOU are self important on YOUR own blog reserved especially for you to share whatever the hell you feel like as well. “Righteous Indignation”? So says the woman who decided herself to be righteous enough to scold and put me down personally for MY personal feelings about a group of victims that I find upsetting to be used in the way they are by some (not all people) in a community; a feeling that I know is shared also be many other pagans and witches out there as well. “Hostility”? Again MY blog, and MY right to express myself when I am unhappy about something, a feeling that everyone is entitled to from time to time, so spare me your use of buzz words that are supposed to be some kind of attempt to shame me from expressing my human feelings about some things, including if my annoyance about something, or dislike shows through my words, on MY on personal blog none the less.

      Also, there is absolutely nothing in my blog even remotely close to suggesting “not honoring a sad marker in US history.” so I am rather thrilled that I failed to teach you a lesson on something that I never was giving a lesson on to begin with. But thanks again for your *kind* response. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And you can stop trying to respond Ruth. I will not entertain you, at all. You wore your welcome out with your petty personal attacks. Like I said in my public service announcement due to people like you, get the hell off my blog if you don’t like what I say on MY own personal blog, and take your crap and bestow it on someone who’s readily going to put up with it. This is the last I will engage with you, your comments will not be approved. Thank you and Good bye.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Now I am going to get this out in the open right now…

    First off, those who think I am telling people not to honor, remember, memorialize these victims, are clearly NOT reading the blog. From now on, any one showing that they did not read the blog, by making any claims/reference about the blog being, anti remembering, honoring, memorializing these victims will simply be told “Incorrect, reread the blog” as I am done correcting people in detail about this. To make it easier for you, I made the parts about remembering and memorializing in red, just look for the red, including the giant red underneath the memes, it should totally pop out for you now.

    Secondly, this is MY blog, it is not a forum. As such, I am more than entitled to, and well within my rights to use MY blog to pen my thoughts, whether I am sharing advice, feelings, opinions, or even if I am using it for a rant. My feelings might come out as blunt depending on how I am feeling about whatever it is I am talking about. Sometimes writing feelings and thoughts, especially if the need to vent about something, is quite therapeutic. If anyone does not like this, well that’s just too damn bad, get the hell off my blog then! I am not saying this to be mean or hurtful, but right now, and since I am well within my rights to use MY blog to express my feelings, I think some people have a hell of a lot of nerve to come onto someone else’s personal blog to bemoan their personal rants about something that has been bothering them. I don’t go onto other people’s blogs to set aside time in my day to bitch at and personally attack someone who is talking about or ranting on something bothering them (regardless of if I agree or not) and I expect the same in return. That’s their right to their feelings and ways of expression them at the time, just like I have my rights to this right here.

    With that said, this does not mean one can’t come on here and discuss or even disagree with me about anything I blog on. In fact, I find it even educational for me, when I see what other’s think or feel. I consider my opinions to be tentative and changeable giving a dialogue where some one else gets me to see things from another lens. I therefore, welcome both those who agree and don’t, and promise not to censor based on something like this.

    However, if you are butt hurt because you have a personal problem about the way I vented, spoke, expressed myself just because, like for example here,I care about the victims of Salem and don’t like how I see them being treated or used by some within Pagan/Witchcraft communities, then don’t even waste your time with your childish personal attacks. They will be something I won’t do more than scan it over quickly, before NOT approving them and will put the diatribe in the trash. You will have to take that kind of an antic, go find another person’s personal blog to seek something you don’t like, who will tolerate that kind of crap from you, and bestow it on them. Thank you!

    It’s ridiculous that I would even have to write up what I will and will not tolerate on MY own spot with MY feelings, thoughts and expressions.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Agostino, I’m very sorry, I believe you tried to comment but it some how did not go through even though I had approved it. I hope you see this, and please repost if it doesn’t show up, I will approve again. I am very sorry for the inconvenience. 😦


    1. Hi there, and thanks for posting . . . I just wanted to thank you, because this is something I’ve been saying for years.

      I believe that honoring the victims of an atrocity is important, commendable, and to be encouraged. But it’s equally important to honor them for who they were – in the lifetime when the atrocity happened, for those who believe in samsara – rather than painting them with the brush of who we imagine them to be.

      Thanks again for letting me know, and for this blog post,

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for your thoughts, and very kind words.

        Indeed, appreciate, care about, and memorialize people for who they were, not who you wish them to be.

        While at the memorial park, I have seen some pagans and witches honor the victims where they left a rose or other flower for each, even a little candle, while at times saying some nice things to the victims, or even something personally written that sounds beautiful to say to them. Some even taken the care to choose a Frankincense to burn for choice of incense. These were very tasteful, tactful, and something I can see the victims smiling upon.

        Then there is this others, standing there, shouting and raving speeches that sound more like it’s all about them, and the victims are merely a prop for their “me, me , me, I, I, I” kind of speech, acting like complete clowns, making almost like a circus show of it, giving no thought or taste in any of what they are doing. Occasionally, something left behind that a deceased Christian might not appreciate much at all, or leaving behind liter. Sure some tourists can be guilty of littering at the memorial, but I am talking about the times, I saw a pagan or witch do it, and ran up behind them to pick up the liter.

        The actual hanging site, it was a place that was quiet, and free of this rift raft for the most part. This is where I would head off to, to quietly pay respects, and I have to say, although it was a tragic spot that the victims died at, it has a air of sacredness to it, or at least to me it did, more so than the park. But a month ago, this spot was officially outed on the news, even making international news. The one thing I am glad about, is the intention the mayor has of placing a memorial plaque there. But the thing that makes me really sad about it, is I am afraid, so afraid of that tasteless circus type of act, that some try to call “honoring” them, when really they are being treated more like props for the show, will start to happen there as well; the place I considered more sacred. Seeing all the hyped up tripe and mis-information getting peddled around about the victims, does not exactly help make me feel any better or more assured that this won’t become the habit at this site too. Yes, as weird as it sounds, I feel protective of these victims, hence leading up to much of my displeasure I talk about in the blog.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Nothing weird in feeling protective of the victims. If I understand your post and your responses to other commenters correctly, you’re protective not only of the victims but also of truth and historical accuracy.

        Those are concerns I share. Whether it be a matter of Salem being politicized by modern witches and/or pagans or a matter of politicians exploiting the victims of 9/11 to promote their pet agendas, misrepresentation is wrong no matter how lofty we feel the goals or noble we believe the desired outcome.

        If we divorce ourselves from sound knowledge of the facts of history and critical thinking when applying those facts to our modern life — if we divorce ourselves from the humility necessary to honor the victims of any given tragedy without inserting ourselves into their story — we risk taking on a kind of arrogance which leads to accusing those who even slightly disagree with us as “being worse than Hitler,” and we risk shutting ourselves off to engaging other ideas and enabling ourselves to grow thereby.

        Just my two cents . . .

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Sincerely YES on both accounts! You are absolutely, 100% right on the money here! You are one of the few that has commented here that not only understood everything in the blog even deeper than just the words on it, including why it was done, but you understand what does go on in my head about these as well, and why my upset.

          In other social online circles I am getting quite a few witches and pagans who are approaching me to tell me how much they loved this blog, and agree with it. Lots of support on it. However, it seems I am getting some that on this site commenting that may not appreciate it as much.

          The whole thing first and foremost is not suppose to be anti witch or pagan memorializing the victims. It’s actually against anti intellectualism about the victims, while liberally using them and their name for personal agenda’s while not even caring enough about them to even want to know more about them than whatever misinformation they want to buy and then peddle themselves. Or using them for nothing more than self serving shows right on their own memorial sites. I would have figured that those that do not personally do this, wouldn’t take it personally since they would obviously not be among the population I am talking about in the first place.


  10. Witch or no witch they were still hanged by the neck until dead because it was believed they were witches . Thus are a poster child for why pagans have felt the need to hide and conceal the fact they were non christian .

    That being said up until the 1950′ s england had witchcraft statutes on the books and prosecuted using them in the late 70’s early 80’s the great witchcraft and satanic cult hunts in this country had law enforcement harassing and arresting folk’s on suspicion of satanic corruption of youth . True the charges never stuck that I can recall but when a friend sits in a backwoods texas county jail for 4 months with a list of charges that had a total bail of just over 500’000 and no one with thee funds to get him out .
    Cost him his job , his home , Girlfriend and a nice car . Its real hard to pay your bills when the boss fires you for not showing up to work and being a evangelical because you were at a coven bonfire .

    That’s how they get you even if you never go to trial for itt being arrested can ruin your life He took years to get his life back in order and still has credit issues from the repo’s .

    So do not try to fool yourself that there still are not problems for Pagans and that the Salem trials are not something pagans need to remember regardless of the faith of those executed they were still being tried as witches and thus can be pointed to and it said see what happens if your not a good christian in the eye’s of the mob .

    No group is completely innocent there have been poor choices made by all . Using anything to hate is wrong I do not hate them I dislike the things they have done in the name of religion .

    Liked by 3 people

    1. “Witch or no witch they were still hanged by the neck until dead because it was believed they were witches .”

      I think you might want to re look into the factors leading up to the accusations. There were other issues, and witchcraft or accusation of being witches was the excuse to dispose of them.

      “Thus are a poster child for why pagans have felt the need to hide and conceal the fact they were non christian .”

      I actually like this point you raise. I think you are right in that the pressures of dominant religions have quite a bit to do with why Pagans had in the past, and many today still find it more peaceful to conceal. You can relate to had there been witches back in Salem village of 1692, they would have had to flee or do all they can to conceal due to the evil going ons. Actually, had what I had seen been presented more this way, I don’t think I would find any objection to it. But as I presented in my blog, it was a different type of thing being done with these victims and how they were paraded in THAT sense, as mentioned in the blog, that had concerned me. If you saw what I have seen done at their memorials, you might see exactly what I mean.

      “So do not try to fool yourself that there still are not problems for Pagans”

      I never ever stated that there are no persecutions that Pagans or Witches face, especially when openly self identifying as one. In fact, I stated to another person above that this is very wrong, it is a problem and something to take a stand against, based on it’s own list of merits and concerns. However, this doesn’t mean that it gives anyone the right to claim that non witches were witches, and parade them around as if they were people who were punished and paid with their lives in order to defend paganism or witchcraft. The problems with witches and pagans facing any persecution, are substantial enough to list endlessly without even such a need for that.

      ” and that the Salem trials are not something pagans need to remember regardless of the faith ”

      You see the red print that pops out right? Then you know that there is nothing stating anything against pagans who wish to remember or memorialize these victims.

      “they were still being tried as witches and thus can be pointed to and it said see what happens if your not a good christian in the eye’s of the mob .”

      Actually, many of them were recognized as “good Christians” in the eyes of the mob. Some so much so, that it startled many of the mob that they were even charged. But other factors were involved such as being a poor beggar, or a Reverend that had an issue with a prominent family at one time, feuds with other neighbors, speaking out against the trials, being unpleasant to other people, land disputes, girls feigning affliction while randomly pointing at people, other’s who confessed pointing fingers at other people. In fact, Mary Bradbury, who was mentioned in the comments, her arrest actually pretty much outraged the town, including the town minister. In fact a petition was signed by a substantial amount of the town testifying as to how great of a Christian she was, including the Minister himself, writing out his own testimony of how pious and faithful of a Christian she is. But, there was this thing about land between her and the Carr family. In spite of how great of a Christian she was, this did not stop her from being tried, convicted and condemned to death for her refusal to confess to witchcraft. Fortunately, she escaped from prison, presumably with help from villagers, and was hidden away. She died of old age in 1711. Martha Corey was another one considered in high status in Church. But other pressures, and her own husband testifying against her did not help her case. So no, these were not cases of people being accused of not being good Christians, it was other accusations that were focal points. It was hatred, non compassionate crowd and cruelty, not a case of the best Christians get to live. It was even FAR DEADLIER than that; no one was immune by proxy of their Christian status. And I have never disputed anything about pagans saying they were tried as witches, or that it was wrong for them to be tried as witches. It was wrong, and this can be pointed out, there is no bone about that. But I DO have an issue with misinformation, the ways they get used and portrayed as, which then leads to the side show mob acts at their memorial site that some do. Yes this, bothers me and I stand by it.

      They can actually most accurately be considered Poster Children for the evils that happen due to the hysteria of mob mentalities, which every group under the moon has a claim in, as all groups, religions, cultures have been afflicted by such at one point or another. They stood on behalf of their own faith (Christianity) against lies about them, and died for it.

      Any how, thank you for sharing your thoughts, I addressed some but I genuinely liked reading your views and opinions about it, it was a very thoughtful comment and I appreciate it. I was saddened about what your poor friend went through. This is the reason to combat discrimination, using accurate info and facts to fight it with. rather claims of questionable credibility.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. The Witchcraft Act of 1735 (the one repealed in the early 1950s) was not actually a law against practicing witchcraft, it made it illegal to *claim* to be a witch (i.e. to make money or influence people into doing stuff by claiming to be a Real Life Witch who could do things for them/harm them through witchcraft, which was essentially assumed to be impossible and thus fraud/coercion). Although given the popularity of mediums and whatnot in the Victorian period, I’d say it wasn’t overly strongly applied.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. hi iv read this and completely understand .Yes they may have been so devout that they would not lie to save themselves . But the people that hung them done so in the name of witch craft

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your response. I agree with the fact that this was done under the guise of witchcraft. This is also why, I don’t have any issues with pagans and witches that would like to remember and honor them, because of the unfair injustices that were levied against them. But I don’t think that this makes it okay for some to misinform others about them, treat them like they were pagans and witches, or use them for personal agendas. IMO, these sorts of things do a disservice and dishonor to them and their memory, and I stand by my opinion on this. Those that do not do this, and there are many, the article isn’t written about them personally. This is probably why I have been approached by many supporting and liking what I had to say.


  12. Thanks for reciting all the christian excuses for their witch trials. The constant claim that hanging witches was wrong because they were actually christians is a back door way of continuing to say that hanging actual witches would have been proper. My own foremothers were arrested and admitted being witches. They were sentenced to hang but because they confessed their hanging were delayed hoping that they would name more witches. One of my foremothers died of cruel conditions in the unheated jail during a harsh winter. No, she didn’t get hanged, but she was just as dead.

    It is sad that you sorry apologists keep reciting all the christian dogma about how it would have been acceptable to hang people if they had actually been witches. Shame on you and the high horse you rode in on.


    1. Dear Mike Again,

      Apparently, you either did not read the article at all, or completely failed to understand it.

      Fyi, hanging people for witchcraft (or torturing or killing them in other manners) is WRONG because it is WRONG period, and not because of what religion or non religion a human might be, or whether or not they were witches. Witch or not, it is wrong. You can back up with the trying to project words into my blog or thoughts that I did not write, nor do I think.

      But by all means, please feel free to point where in my article I stated that if someone was a witch it would be okay to do? Also, explain how sharing the actual facts and truth about these particular trials, and disliking misinformation about them, got deduced to being fathomed by you as to say it’s okay to hang witches. Was it the part where I pointed out that they weren’t burnt at the stake, but were hanged, or the part where I share facts about these people and how it got to the point that they got killed? Or because I dare to say and think, they, the actual victims in Salem, deserve the honor of being honored in context of who they were, and not what someone else wants them to be? Or maybe it was because telling the truth about people, isn’t always very popular, especially when it upsets other people’s fantasies about them.

      Apparently, you haven’t been paying attention to my blog either beyond this article, because if you had, you would have noticed by now that I AM a witch. I am a traditional witch (via family lineage), and an atheistic one at that. This means that in all likelihood, I really would have been screwed in any given society back then.

      Also, explaining the actual facts about these people, and not liking how some people in our communities mistreat their memory in multiple ways is not “Christian Dogma.” Your failure to understand or read the actual article won’t make it so either. So you can ride right off of my blog on the high horse that YOU rode into it on, thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I really appreciate you posting this, back then there were a lot of misunderstandings and political agendas, if not for land then money, it still goes on now, but I hope more people can view this and understand it, killing anyone over religion, race, or anything of that nature is wrong, I have respect for other religions, I am a solitary witch, I keep to myself because people are a bit untrustworthy these days, I hope you have a great day 🙂 blessed be )o(

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! I am very glad you appreciate what I am actually saying. 🙂

      I think collectively, to combat the problem, everyone certainly needs to take a stand against that’s for sure! There are many ways people in not only our pagan and witch communities, but people from other types of communities who are disgusted can get proactive! One way is to be aware of what it was/is about each giving surrounding that people are subjected to persecutions in and why they were; it’s not as easy as broad stroking every thing. There are parts of the world today, that people are indeed, being murdered for the accusations of witchcraft. Some might be witches, some maybe not so much. Either way, it’s a sad situation that these atrocities go on in what should be a civilized world. Heck, even in civilized world, there is a sneakier way that self identified witches and pagans face or are at a high risk of some kind of trouble or persecution. I am lucky enough that I live in an part of the USA that is more open to it, and live and let live, but I really feel for those stuck in parts that are very unlike this. Very nice to meet you, and hope your day is a fantastic one!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I respect your feelings, and all that you have written here. And I agree that the final resting place of the victims should be respected properly and quietly, and not treated like a theme park, or used as the background for a protest demonstration. I wonder if part of the problem is that it seems to be trendy, and cool, and a bit rebellious to self-identify as a pagan or witch, due to the popularity of movies and TV shows such as Charmed, Witches of East End, The Craft, etc…which seem more real than obvious fantasies such as Bewitched, Hocus-pocus, Practical Magic, Harry Potter, or the old classic, The Wizard of Oz. If people don’t take the time to research and learn the actual history behind the witch hunting, the Burning Time, and the Salem Witch Trials, it could be trivialized.

    Until I took an online course on Wicca: A Year And A Day, last year, I had no idea how widespread the persecution was, how long it went on, why it happened, or the number of victims and who they were. In the class I took, we were required to study, research, and write essays about some of the victims, and watch videos of the Burning Time, and the Salem Witch Trials. I did a lot of crying that week, reading and watching those videos, and realizing that they were good Christians, herbalists, midwives, etc., caught in the middle of land disputes, or victims of neighborhood gossip or jealousy, or old and poor. I was also shocked to discover in my research that one of my own ancestors, Simon Bradstreet, the second governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, was involved in the Salem trials on the other side of the bench, as magistrate, and that his brother John was one of the accused, but he escaped by taking the first available ship to New York, and staying there until the hysteria was over.

    What alarms me is that this is still going on in some places in the world, and even in the US. And, as has been seen during the elections campaign, some of the same or similar attitudes are bubbling up to the surface, and a couple of the extremist candidates are feeding the fear and anger, stirring up their followers to violence. Some of my Pagan, Wiccan, and witch friends and I have been concerned that history might be repeated, and witch hunting could come back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your very thoughtful and though provoking post! Thank you also for being among the population that understands more of what the article is actually about!

      I think maybe because these victims are from a distance past, some may not realize their behavior at the memorial site, and stop to think about if what they are doing is actually honoring them for who they were. Maybe if people considered how they might feel like if their beloved grandmother sadly passed, and if they would like her grave or memorial site erected for high honors to her to treated with rabble-rousing, and half truths, or no truths about the wonderful person she was, and what she loved in life. Maybe if people treated other people’s memorials and/or graves the same way they would like to see their immediate loved ones be treated, it might make for far more beautiful memorializing being done. Some do some, but enough don’t that it is bothersome. In fact, the complaints I made are not all that uncommon, I have seen so much of it from fellow Witches, as well as pagans, that it helped inspire me to write this.

      That’s so interesting that you are related to Simon Bradstreet. Here is something about him that you can certainly feel pride in, he was quite outspoken against the witch trials! It may have had to do with two of his sons being accused by those *afflicted* girls, but at least he spoke up against it all. Seems they were trying to really focus on his family?

      I agree it is very alarming what goes on in the world. I mean in some countries they just kill people they accuse of witchcraft. This doesn’t mean they always believe that the person they killed was a witch, as I think in some cases it’s an excuse to give their audience, but either way, it’s horrific and abominable at best. Then even in places like the USA you hear stories about self identified pagans and witches facing many problems. Some parts of the countries, Atheists face similar types of discrimination too.


  15. Good article but I believe that you have missed the point why modern day Witches and Pagans recognize the 20 people executed at Salem. Most of those executed in Salem were more than likely good Christians except maybe Tituba who may have practiced some form of Witchcraft. In 1992 the local Christian Churches in Salem had a lot to do with clearing the names of those executed. As one who identifies as Pagan I feel for those who were labeled as Witches and because of that name they were executed.

    I am sure that Nazi Germany executed many people who were labeled to belong to an unacceptable group of people when they in fact were not a part of that group. There were people who died who I am sure were innocent people. All it took was for a neighbor to make an accusation against them to the authorities and that would start the process towards eliminating them. So, yes I have a soft spot for someone who died because someone gave them a title that I may call myself. Yes, I honor their memory as Salem Witches when in fact they were not.

    What was important for those 20 souls is that in 1992 all were welcomed back into the Christian Church thereby reversing their excommunication from the church in 1692. This act finally allowed them to enter what heaven they may have believed in. The memorials in Danvers and Salem are a testament to cooperation between many people and religions to recognize that these unfortunate deaths were wrong. People died because of fear and intolerance.

    The real tragedy of all this is that between 1647 and 1663 the Colony of Connecticut hanged nine women and two of their husbands because they also were labelled as Witches. The present State of Connecticut flatly refuses to do anything to correct this wrong. Governor Dannel Malloy has never responded to our requests to look into this issue. Letters to local elected officials has fallen on deaf ears. The local Christians churches have not yet helped in any way. This however, may change in the future as there has been some interest by a local church in Windsor, Connecticut. We here in Connecticut hope to do for our Connecticut Witches what Massachusetts has tastefully done for theirs.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your fantastic and insightful response!

      ” I believe that you have missed the point why modern day Witches and Pagans recognize the 20 people executed at Salem. ”

      I did want to clarify on this however, the gripe isn’t about pagans or Witches taking recognition of this horrible tragedy in history and standing up for these poor souls. Its about those that go around spreading misinformation about them, among this, declaring them witches amidst the misinformation, as well as some of the less than respectful going-ons I have seen at their memorial.

      As for Tituba, it was more likely she may have practiced one of the religions that african slaves did under the guise of Christianity; most likely Yoruba which formed into Santeria, practiced by many today.

      I’d also like to point out that the recognition that they were not witches and were thought of as Christians again began much much earlier than 1992. This starts with the day of repentance in 1697, where those involved including the jurors confessed shame and guilt over killing innocent people. In 1706, Ann Putnam jr, one of the brats most rabid at acting afflicted and pointing fingers claimed herself to be delusional by the devil. and specifically referred to Rebecca Nurse as innocent, who’s excommunication then got reversed in 1706. From 1704 to 1709 compensation was paid to the survivors and relatives of the executed (although to me this isn’t enough.) In 1957 at the demands of descendants, all were officially declared exonerated. 1992, Danvers (which use to be Salem village where this all began) erected the memorial plague in honor of the victims and resolution was signed.

      I totally agree with you about the accused in Connecticut. The sad thing about these victims is they have been over shadowed by Salem quite a bit and less is known. They deserve honor and remembrance too for who they were accurately. I truly hope that those working hard to make sure these victims get recognized, publicly exonerated and a memorial for them are very successful in this endeavor.


  16. First off I want to say that I am very happy that a friend shared your blog with me. You are absolutely right in what you are doing. You are forcing people to think about the Salem trials in a factual manner. Those who lost their lives were with out doubt Christians. Some very good strong Christians and some not so good Christians but they are only remembered as a Witch. The problem is that many Christians view those executed for the title given to them, Witch. Many people today still think that it was persecution by Puritans against alleged Witches and nothing more. Read also about Anne Hutchinson, Mary Dyer, Goody Glover and Quakers to get a better understanding of the Puritan mindset of that period.

    Some historians will justify the executions because it was, “what the Puritan sincerely believed at the time.” I really don’t buy that. There were too many ulterior motives for eliminating certain people. I understand that your blog refers to Salem cases but look what is presently going on in Connecticut. The State still denies the fact that the eleven executions were wrong. Connecticut has many May 1647 colonial records however the court records for the trial of Alse Young, executed May 26, 1647, are strangely missing. Even Massachusetts Governor John Winthrop failed to put her name in his journal when he recorded an execution for Witchcraft at Hartford.

    Keep up the good work. It is important that we continue to talk about this dark age in New England history. They are part of our Witch history and we need to fight for them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So following up on this, I did some checking around too, and I am thinking of doing an article on how the state of CT refuses to exonerate their victims. The excuses I am noticing from them are at best, very flimsy and at worst, terribly pathetic. I find it very bothersome, and commend you on your very worthy cause here. You are fighting a very good fight!


  17. “Some historians will justify the executions because it was, “what the Puritan sincerely believed at the time.” I really don’t buy that. There were too many ulterior motives for eliminating certain people. ”

    I don’t buy this at all either. Back then, their definition of “witch” differed quite a bit than what we consider witches of today, and their definition involved a more monstrous kind of creature that could shape shift, partied with, was in touch with, and in alliance with the devil. The type of people we think of as witches today also distanced themselves from “witch” because of the definition of it back then, and preferred cunning-folk, wise-woman, etc. Regular society was even steeped in folk and cunning practices, whether it be putting shoes or bottles full of sharp objects in walls to protect against harmful magic or spirits, or covering all the mirrors of homes during funerals. So I don’t believe that the alleged intelligent folks in court system and politics genuinely believed that the people they accused were actually shape shifting creatures doing all sorts of bidding of the devil. This concept seemed more to be used as an excuse to fear monger the crowds into such hysterics they garner support for what they do. Usually, when a ruling government can manage this among their subjects, they can succeed in accomplishing what they want to do because the mob is more supportive of it. In CT and MA, in the 1600s it was witches. In the 1930s to 1940s it was the Jews in Germany. In the 1970s to early 80s it was satanic panic, as well as xenophobia. In the current times, it’s muslims. This is why the Salem Witch trial victims are not pagan or witch poster children. Pagans and witches do not have the monopoly of them, these victims represent EVERYONE of every group who has had horrific campaigns wagered against them due to fear mongering and public support for whatever excuse as to why can be inserted…because (witches, Jews, Waldenesian Christians, Russians, Satanists, Muslims, etc). There were some in our pagan witch communities that gave me the impression that for them, it only mattered to them because these victims were (in their minds) witches, and they might not care so much if they learned they weren’t, or not even cunning folk in Salem, and I am pretty sure in CT as well.

    ” The State still denies the fact that the eleven executions were wrong. Connecticut has many May 1647 colonial records however the court records for the trial of Alse Young, executed May 26, 1647, are strangely missing. Even Massachusetts Governor John Winthrop failed to put her name in his journal when he recorded an execution for Witchcraft at Hartford.”

    This is pretty abominable! I also understand, from what I have researched that unlike in Salem, even confession wasn’t enough to save them, they still went ahead and killed those who confessed and you can bet these confessions were done under quite a bit of duress. Please let me know of the pro active ways of forcing CT to recognize the wrong here, and do something for these victims rather than try to keep sweeping them under the rug as if they never existed. I’d be happy to contribute in anything that will help this cause.


  18. Just… wow. Gave up on reading the comments and idiocy of the people who clearly did not get the point of the post.

    Must say in regard to: “these victims were actually so Christian and so faithful and true to the Christian God that they would rather pay with their lives remaining true and strong for him, than to ever claim anything they see as against him”, it amazes me that you actually had to point this out to some people. Simply reading through the history of the so-called “burning times” that some love to tout, should be obvious.

    Thank you for attempting to educate amidst all the hoopla on here.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I can’t believe that I actually had to enlarge some of the font, bold and put it in red to maybe reduce the amount of people who were missing the point, and assumed that I was suggesting not remembering these Christian victims. Some of the comments are pretty good though, and I really enjoyed the exchange with Tony just above too. He pointed out a group of victims that seem dusted under the rug in CT and how to this day, CT refuses to at least officially exonerate these victims.


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