How did people think you could spot a witch in the 19th century?
I'm doing a project in history, and I need to find out how people used to think you could spot a witch in the 19th Century. Please help, I cannot find any good information on the internet! 🙂
You were thought to be a witch if you were extremely secretive and lived on your own or if anything strange happened that may have been connected with you. If you floated, you were thought to be guilty, but if you drowned or started drowning, you were believed to be innocent, in which case you would try to be saved. However, many innocent people died when this method was used
They didn't really. If they hated them all they had to do was tell people that he/she was a witch and they would get hanged/drowned etc.
yes they used to weigh the lady who they believed to be a witch,lady on one side and a duck on the other,as ducks float.that way then they knew she could be a witch
You were considered a witch then if you had a birth mark, a mole or if you could not read out a verse in the bible.
blemishes like zits,moles,and warts.
It would seem, to me anyway, that the charge of being a witch always has begun with one person saying that a specific person has bewitched them. Of course the confession is always extracted under torture. Which was extensive enough to make a person today confess to having assassinated Abraham Lincoln.
Here is the last case which I have found to incorporate bewitching in the accusation, as performing witchcraft was not against the law she was formally charged with fraud and murder.
Mary Bateman (c. 1768-March 20, 1809) was an English criminal and alleged witch, known as the "Yorkshire Witch", who was tried and executed for witchcraft during the early 19th century.
Born to a farmer in Asenby (or Topcliffe), she became a servant girl in Thirsk, North Yorkshire but was eventually released for petty theft. During the 1780s, she became a minor thief and con artist who often convinced many of her victims she possessed supernatural powers. By the end of the century, she had become a prominent fortuneteller in Leeds who prescribed potions which she claimed would ward off evil spirits as well as acting as medicine.
In 1806, Bateman was approached by William and Rebecca Perigo who believed they had been put under a spell after Rebecca had complained of chest pains and asked for her help in lifting the curse. However, over the next several months, Bateman began feeding them pudding which was laced with poison. While Rebecca regularly ate the pudding, her husband was unable to eat more than a spoonful. Rebecca's condition worsened however and she finally died in May 1806. William Perigo continued to pay her for more than two years until he discovered one of the "charms" which he and his wife had received from Bateman was worthless paper; he went to the authorities who arrested Bateman the following day after William lured her to a meeting.
Although she proclaimed her innocence, a search of her home turned up poison as well as many personal belongings of her victims including the Perigo couple. In March 1809, she was tried in York and found guilty by a jury of fraud and murder. Sentenced to death, Bateman attempted to avoid her execution by claiming she was pregnant however a later physical examination disproved this. She was finally hanged alongside two men on March 20, 1809. After her execution, her body was put on public display with strips of her skin being sold as magic charm to ward off evil spirits.
Bateman's skeleton is on display to the public at Thackray Museum in Leeds.
didn't have many friends
someone in your family died
if you floated
birthmark or mole
couldnt read from the bible
had a strange pet (or black pet)
if you had a wart
person claims you bewitched them
- They were mostly old women.
- They had pets which followed them around, usualy black cats.
-They made models.
-They lived on their own.
- They had no shadow.
- They talked to themselves.
- They can't say the Lords prayer without any mistakes.
- Their hair cannot be cut.
- They were extreamly secretive.