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Calendar Curiosities: February 28, 1692 – Salem Witch Hunts begin

Nudity Czar here,  with another installment. (Oh, hey, have you heard about the Calendars?  Applications currently being accepted!!)  

Very short backstory:  On this day in 1692, arrest warrants were issues for three women accused of being witches.  Starting with these, more than 150 people were arrested and put to trial for the felony offense of witchcraft, often citing “spectral evidence.”  Yes, really.  Twenty-nine were convicted and at least twenty were put to death.  Although it took until 1957, all were eventually exonerated.  Yes, 1957.  

Skepchick point of interest: Some folks did try reason and logic to quell the crazy.  Father and son duo Increase and Cotton Mather, along with 10 other local ministers, try and inject some sanity, asking authorities not to convict only on the basis of “spectral evidence.”   The “witch cake,” made with the urine of the cursed, seems to have been fair game, however.

Not-so-Skepchick?: Earlier this week, this very week in 2008, news of a pregnant woman in Papua New Guinea found guilty of witchcraft and hanged.  While struggling to free herself from the noose, she gave birth to a baby girl.  Both survived, as did the new mother’s similarly accused husband.  Police have been slow to investigate, and the new family have since moved out of town.

Personal note: It’s also a happy birthday to my dear friend David, the finest man I didn’t have the good sense to marry!

a.real.girl

A B Kovacs is the Director of Døøm at Empty Set Entertainment, a publishing company she co-founded with critical thinker and fiction author Scott Sigler. She considers herself a “Creative Adjacent” — helping creative people be more productive and prolific by managing the logistics of Making for the masses. She's a science nerd, a rabid movie geek, and an unrepentantly voracious reader. She doesn't like chocolate all that much.

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10 Comments

  1. Wasn't there also a women just recently sentenced to death for witchcraft in Saudi Arabia? Either Amanda posted it, or I have it saved somewhere for a Quickie. I hadn't heard about the one in Papua New Guinea, though, that's crazy.

  2. Wasn’t there also a women just recently sentenced to death for witchcraft in Saudi Arabia? Either Amanda posted it, or I have it saved somewhere for a Quickie. I hadn’t heard about the one in Papua New Guinea, though, that’s crazy.

    Yup, I'm sure I read about that here.

  3. I'm sure that, once again, my pagan friends are holding their silent, candle-light vigils, commemorating the date, even though I've tried to explain to them that likely not one single wiccan (witch) was burned. The victims were Quakers or other god fearing folk killed out of rampant superstition – or for their property.

  4. No, that was the title of one of the blog entries about Islam. But having reviewed it, it turns out that was the one about the journalist who got arrested for sitting in a Starbucks with male coleagues.

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