The definition of witchcraft differs, depending on who you ask, ranging from a variety of aspects and factors, including magic, religion, spirits, as well as ritual. A witch is usually viewed as one who manipulates unexplainable forces through spells and other rituals. Throughout history, there have been many witches (real or imagined) who have been remembered through the centuries.
Some of the powers that are associated with witchcraft include clairvoyance, invisibility, astral projection, the ability to kill from a distance, as well as the ability to fly. Witchcraft has a deep history. During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, witchcraft was referred to as evil, often called heresy or devil-worship. The view of witchcraft has changed since then, where some promote it as a Pagan religion that does not associate with either Christianity or with the Devil, stating that their actions only foster good intentions. Below you will find details regarding some of the more known witches throughout history:
Tamsin Blight (1798-1856): Welll-known English witch healer, who was said to have the ability to remove curses or spells. She also knew how to cast them as well.
The North Berwick Witches (16th century): A unisex group who were tortured and burned to death because they were accused of creating a storm with the intention of drowning King James I. This occurred in Scotland.
Mary Butters (late 18th century-early 19th century): She was referred to as the Carmoney Witch, who was accused of killing a cow and three people, but was not put on trial because she created a story that let her escape persecution.
Joan of Navarre (1370-1437): She was the wife of King Henry IV of England and was accused of being a witch, wishing harm on the King. She was eventually pardoned and reinstated.
Mother Shipton (15th century): This Yorkshire witch was believed to have the power to heal and cast spells. It is said that she prophesized the creation of airplanes and cars. She also made accurate predictions dealing with war, politic, as well as a variety of scientific inventions.
Caroline of Brunswick (1768-1821): She was King George IV of England’s wife, who was supposed to have created a small wax model of her husband and would stick thorns and pins into it. She would then toss the effigy into the fireplace. All of this was done because she felt that she did not receive enough attention.
Dorothy Clutterbuck (1880-1951): She was accused of being the high priestess of a group of witches. Other tales state that she was actually the protector of the real high priestess.
Margaret Jones (1600s): She was the first to be executed throughout the Massachusetts Bay Colony, when the condition of patients under her care became sicker. In reality, the patients grew worse because they decided against taking their medicine.
Lady Alice Kyteler (1300’s): In Ireland, she was accused of witchcraft. Her only offense: her wealthy fourth husband’s family believed she used other means to persuade him to marry her. The charges were dropped and she moved to England.
Florence Newton (mid-17th century): She was the center of one of the most famous witch trials in Ireland. She was accused of causing people to have fits, which eventually killed them. She was not subject to torture, but was put on display where her powers could be witnessed.
Dolly Pentreath (1692-1777): Was said to possess astrological and magical power, which were used for both good and bad deeds.