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Witches in Elizabethan time

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Who were they?

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Witches were accused of being witches if they could or had been seen striking people down with illnesses, diseases or madness, creating fires, tempests and thunderstorms, bringing bad luck, making false prophecies, or even plotting murder. They were sometimes accused if something bad had happened to their neighbours, or by people who didn’t like them. Black cats were often involved in finding witches.

Some people weren’t even witches, as a family found out in the Salem Witch trials in the late 17th century. A man named Giles Corey was crushed by rock weights. He was accused by Ann Putnam JR, Mercy Williams and Abigail Williams.

He was accused when their neighbours wanted their land, but they refused to give it to him. They were taken to court where the wife surrendered, but the Giles said that they weren’t. He was then crushed to death, and his wife spent the rest of her life in prison.


What powers were they supposed to have

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What did they look like?






What happened to them?






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Interesting facts about Elizabethan times

·        Witches were thought to be able to; fly, curse crops, brew potions and work magic.

·        Of the 270 witch trails recorded, only 23 were men and the other 247 were women

·        Those accused of witchraft were mainly:

Old, poor, unprotected, widowed or single women living alone.

·        Anne Boleyn was accused of being a witch because she had a sixth finger growing from her fifth finger, and a prominent mole on the back of her neck, these were thought to be a signs of the devil.

·        There were frequent outbreaks of the deadly Black Death (Bubonic Plague), there was no cure for this, therefore the people directed their anger at the wise women and accused them of being witches and cursing the people who had died.

·        Many people were so obsesed with catching witches who were cursing their crops, many people went on ‘witch hunts’ to try and catch them.