17 Signs That You Would Be Considered A Witch In The 17th Century
Thanks to Harry Potter, the image of 21st century witches and wizards is much calmer and softer. But don't think it was always like this. If being a wizard nowadays is synonymous with studying at a cool school somewhere in remote London, drinking butterbeer in Hogsmeade, and attending Quidditch matches, things were much darker in the seventeenth century.
In Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692, the last trials for witchcraft took place. About 150 people were arrested and at least 20 were killed, most of them women. The murders were carried out with refinements of cruelty, burning in bonfires, drowning, hanging etc.
Got scared? Next, you find out if you would be charged or convicted of witchcraft under the laws of the Salem Witch Trial.
1. Are you a woman?
No matter the age, size, color or belief, if you are a girl then you are probably also one of the devil's many brides. Since the medieval period, the feminine aspect has been associated with witchcraft. For hundreds of years, people have believed that women were more susceptible to sin than men, and obviously sin is a clear indication of demon worship.
In Salem, 13 women and five men were convicted of practicing witchcraft. However, historically the numbers point to a much higher rate of accused girls than boys.
2. Are you poor or unable to support yourself financially?
Poor, homeless, and anyone forced to rely on the community to support themselves were among the groups most susceptible to accusation for witchcraft. Sarah Good, hanged in 1692, was extremely devastated and viewed with suspicion by her neighbors, for she went from house to house begging for some food.
3. Are you rich or financially independent?
Yeah, in the Dark Ages you couldn't be either so rich or so poor compared to the rest of the community, otherwise it was certainly gallows. Even more so if you were an independent, safe and single woman living your life without any support, as this clearly indicates that you also have a lizard goblet in the pantry.
Any indication that a woman could live without the help or supervision of a man was viewed with suspicion. She should be isolated from the community - until, of course, she is arrested and has a trial. Between 1620 and 1725, women without brothers or children to share their inheritance accounted for 89% of female executions due to New England witchcraft.
4. Do you have one or more friends?
A note to all the teens and the cast of Sex and the City. A group of women gathered talking without a man present was seen as "a brotherhood for demon worship." Who watched the American Horror History series: Coven knows very well what this is about: a group of women communing with the cosmos and supernatural forces.
5. Have you ever fought one or more of your friends?
Matthew Hopkins and John Stearne were two of the greatest persecutors responsible for the witch hunt. However, it was not long before the women themselves accused each other of witchcraft, which was a way of withdrawing their accusations.
According to author Elizabeth Reis, "women were more susceptible to accusations of complicity with the devil, and because of such convictions they were led to imagine that other women were also condemned."
6. Have you argued or quarreled with anyone?
The important thing is to remember that anyone can accuse another person. And they did just that, without any remorse or weight in their conscience. If you were accused of practicing witchcraft - whether it was elemental, natural, white or black - you could also be suspected of being seen flying naked over the moon on a bewitched broom.
7. Are you too old?
Older women, both married and single, were extremely susceptible to prosecution. Rebecca Nurse was a 70-year-old woman who was invalid when accused of witchcraft by her own neighbors. At 71, she became the oldest woman to be charged, convicted and killed for being a witch.
8. Are you too young?
Dorothy Goode was only four years old when she innocently confessed to being a witch. Consecutively, this statement struck her mother, Sarah, who was hanged in 1692. The girl was imprisoned for nine months and the experience left her permanently insane for the rest of her life.
9. Are you a midwife?
Because these professionals were often elderly women who had social status, were autonomous, had pagan influences, and knew various medicinal herbs, they were also viewed with suspicion by the 17th century community. The defamation of the profession served to demonize midwives. That is, these women represented everything the church feared.
10. Are you married and have many children?
If you have too fertile a womb, it is certainly the work of black magic. Add to that a young couple who live in your neighborhood but are having a hard time having a child, and that's it: this is solid proof that you are stealing babies because you are a witch.
11. Are you married but do not have many children or none?
Admittedly, the devil cursed his womb with infertility. Also, if your neighbor and his six children are in need, it is because your jealousy is pounding and causing the poor to suffer.
12. Do you exhibit “weird”, “stubborn” or “impulsive” behavior?
Did you fuss, scandal or raise your voice a little in the middle of the street? You are a witch for sure. At Rachel Clinton's trial, some of her stalkers accused her of not displaying the bitter, pushy, bossy posture that any woman expects. A girl so good with life could only be a witch, right?
13. Do you have a birthmark, sign or third nipple?
Any of these signs on the body could be interpreted with a demon mark. Moreover, these were also places where the witch's mascot - usually a dog, a cat or a snake - would bite to feed on the damn blood. Those accused of witchcraft were completely shaved until a mark was found. And you wondering what that famous Angelica pint was.
14. Has milk or butter ever spoiled in your fridge?
In Salem, several testimonies mentioned finding damaged dairy at the accused's house. Finally it was time to worry about the hygiene of your refrigerator and end that rotten cheese.
15. Have you had sex outside of marriage?
If you answered yes to that question, it is better to throw yourself into the fire of hell. In 1651, Dorchester resident Alice Lake was tried as a witch for playing the role of a "harlot and becoming pregnant." Her guilt was so great that she eventually confessed to being in league with the devil "during the commission of her sins." She was hanged the same year.
16. Have you tried to guess the identity of your future husband / wife?
Don't you have a day when you can't go without thinking about finding your soul mate? Have you ever joked “Who will it be ... who is the girl going to marry?” Making jingle, promise and lighting candles, all in all, was proof of witchcraft. Tituba, a Salem resident slave, encouraged younger women to predict the identity of their future husbands, thus becoming the first woman accused of witchcraft.
17. Did you break any of the rules of the bible and made a deal with the devil?
If you have made it to the bottom of the list and still do not consider yourself a witch, you should probably be a saint. But don't think you're safe: check out other laws that the Puritans followed - or at least tried. Breaking either could lead to a trial for witchcraft:
- Not commit adultery;
- Do not lead individuals to believe in other gods, either by prophecy or dream;
- Do not be raped;
- Do not plant more than one type of seed in the same field;
- Do not touch the carcass of a pig;
- Do not wear clothes made of more than one fabric or cloth;
- Do not cut hair in a circular shape;
- Do not braid the hair;
- And definitely, don't be a witch.
Did you do any of these things? So congratulations, you are guilty of witchcraft. Soon she is doomed to hell and will probably be hanged, burned or left to rot in a filthy prison to die. But calm down ... That was in the seventeenth century, because currently at most you earn is a fine for flying very high.