15 Things That Would Have Gotten You Burned as a Witch in 1692

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Halloween may be over, but listen: in the way way back, witches could be accused, arrested, and executed any ol’ time of year. So it wouldn’t have mattered when you were caught doing any of these 15 things – they could have gotten you killed, regardless.

If you’re curious whether or not going about your regular life would have been a problem for you in the 17th century (and it probably would have been), read on!

15. You are a woman who has had a fight with a lady friend.

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Sadly, being accused of witchcraft often led women to throw their estranged friends under the bus in a (usually vain) attempt to save themselves, says author Elizabeth Reis.

“Women were more likely than men to be convinced of this complicity with the devil, and given such convictions about themselves, they could more easily imagine that other women were equally damned.”

14. …or any friend, really.

Anyone could accuse anyone, and at the height of the hysteria you just couldn’t predict whether or not you would find yourself at the wrong end of a noose – or whose accusation might put you there.

13. You are a healer.

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Female healers – like Margaret Jones, executed in 1648 – were far more likely to be accused because of their skills.

12. You had sex outside of the marriage bed.

In 1692, having sex outside of marriage would earn you a one-way ticket to hell, and it would also give the good citizens of your town reason to send you there far before your time. Just ask Martha Corey.

11. You have broken any rule in the Bible, really.

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Because of course, no MAN in your township has EVER broken a biblical rule, am I right, ladies?

10. You are poor and/or female.

Women are, of course, far more likely to be in league with the devil – since the Middle Ages, “an aspect of the female has been associated with the witch.”

Likewise, the poor, homeless, and others forced to rely on the community for support were extremely disliked and distrusted by neighbors…and therefore probably consorting with the devil.

9. You are rich and/or female.

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I take my namesake from the witches of Essex! I wouldn’t want to live in any other county in England. Essex is magickal, Essex is home. Witch trials took place in Chelmsford in 1645. ??‍♀️ . . #essexwitch #witchesofinstagram #britishwitches #essexwitchtrials #witch #witchcraft #witchtrials #essex

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Don’t amass too much wealth on your own, though, because grown women who don’t need the support of a man are obviously not to be trusted.

Between 1620-1725, 89% of the women who were executed for witchcraft in New England inherited money without a son or a brother to share it.

8. You are married with few too (or no) children.

If you don’t have children, or only have a few, the devil has probably cursed you with infertility.

7. Your neighbors are also having trouble conceiving.

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The Old Burying Point Cemetery, also known as the Charter Street Cemetery, is the oldest cemetery in Salem, and among the oldest in the United States. Opened in 1637, it is the final resting place of several Salem notables, such as Judge John Hathorne (aka. The Hanging Judge, also the grandfather of Nathaniel Hawthorne).⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #salem #massachusetts #newengland #salemma #igsalem #witchtrials #salemwitchtrials⁠ #travel #tourism #roadtrip #instago #igtravel ⁠ #photographer #travelphotography #photographers #photograph #photography⁠ #photoftheday #travelblog #instablog #blog #instapassport #spooky⁠ #halloween⁠ #cemetary #oldburyingpoint #witch #graves #witches #graveyard

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Or, if you have a lot of kids but your neighbors aren’t, it’s probably because you’re stealing them.

6. You daydreamed about your eventual husband.

If you spent time doodling your crush’s name, well, people might think you somehow predicted your future – or worse, that you tricked him into marrying you using witchcraft.

5. You’re a female who is friends with other females.

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Ghost town.

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Any group of women without a male chaperone is likely a “coven meeting to worship the devil.”

4. You’re a woman who is very old…

Older women were vulnerable and often accused of being witches.

3. …or a woman who is very young.

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i’d definitely be tried and hung for witch craft by now

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The youngest confessed witch on record is Dorothy Goode, who was four when she doomed her mother and then spent 9 months in prison. The experience cost her a lifetime of sanity.

2. You have a mind of your own.

If you’re sassy, a smartass, or quick with a comeback (especially to a dude!), you’re definitely a witch.

1. The butter or milk in your fridge has spoiled.

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Dear widow, Agnes Sampson was a Scottish healer, midwife, and accused witch from the sixteenth century. She, along with many other women suffered abhorrent torture and consequently confessed to a multitude of “crimes”, most famously causing the storm in which a courtier of Mary Queen of Scots died and affected the King’s ships crossing from Denmark back to Scotland, following his wedding. She came from the time where women were just to accept the pains of labour and childbirth, and so because she created charms to help women through their pains just added to her charges. Here is an excerpt from the Newes from Scotland detailing her imprisonment and questioning at Holyrood Palace by the King himself: “Therefore by special commandment this Agnes Sampson had all her hair shaven off, in each part of her body, and her head thrawen with a rope according to the custom of that Country, being a pain most grievous, which she continued almost an hour, during which time she would not confess any thing until the Devils mark was found upon her privates, then she immediately confessed whatsoever was demanded of her, and justifying those persons aforesaid to be notorious witches.” Agnes Sampson’s ultimate date was death, she was taken to the scaffold where she was strangled and then burnt on 28 January 1591. It is said Agnes’s tortured ghost haunts the corridors of Holyrood Palace. What a brave woman she must have been to endure such horrors. #witchywednesday #agnessampson #scottishwitch #midwife #sixteenthcenturywitchcraft #witchtrials #wisewoman #witchcraft

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Several testimonials against accused witches contained this “proof,” but we’re not really sure what the connection was…

I’d definitely have ended up at the bottom of a lake with a stone tied to my shoe, how about you?