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Talbot’s Witchcraft Trial by Jerry Keiser

As autumn’s familiar olfactory sensations fill the crisp air, our attentions turn to Friday night football games, shorter days and the distinct melodious sounds of geese filling the morning and evening skies of the Eastern Shore. Crops of corn, soybeans, pumpkins and apples are harvested from fields and orchards. Fall arrives with its bounty of color, and everyone’s attention turns to the ancient festival of Halloween with its ghosts, ghouls and witches. In times past, one could easily get away with being a ghost or ghoul, but witches carried

with them a more serious concern, and labeling as such could mean death by hanging. Witchcraft has a long history in America dating back to the 1690s. During this era, a witch was defined as “anyone who invoked evil spirits or communed with familiar spirits.” The most well known account of witches and witchcraft, occurring in this country, came from history books relating the story of the unusual events occurring in Salem, Massachusetts. There a group of young girls took it upon themselves to proclaim certain individuals

Back in the 17th and 18th centuries, witchcraft was no joking matter! 41

October Tidewater Times  

Tidewater Times October 2011

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