Today in History: RIP Bridget Bishop and The Curse of Giles Corey
The year was 1692.
Bridget Bishop was 60 years old at the time. The first person documented to be executed for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts.
It sounds like Bridget lived a pretty full life up until 1692. She'd been married three possibly four times over the course of her life, raised children with each partner and at one point had been accused of bewitching her second husband to death, nothing was proven.
Her neighbors basically described her as a party animal.
Her guests were so loud and rambunctious she'd been accused of corrupting the youth with their wild arguments and throwing of game pieces in the fire. Even though her neighbors raised a fuss, she never gave them a satisfactory answer.
April 19th of 1692 Bridgett Bishop was examined and accused of bewitching five young women.
During her trial, several people claimed the "shape" of Bridget visited them to choke, pinch, or bite. Anytime during the trial, she would make eye contact with them, they would pass out, and only when she touched them did they become mobile again. One person said she was threatened with drowning because she wouldn't write her name in a certain book. One said her shadow had ripped their coat and when they checked said coat. It was ripped, in the exact spot described.
This dude named William Stacey from Salem Town said a few people had approached him and said she was a witch. He confronted Bridget about using witchcraft to mess with him and she said, "it wasn't me." Some claimed after having arguments their cats became sick, they found a poppet (a doll used in spell casting) at her house, and a group of ladies during the trail said she had a third nipple, a sign she was a witch but when they went to check again. The nipple was gone.
She also said, before she was tried and hung, "I never saw these persons before, nor I never was in this place before."
But in the end, they said she just lied too much in court. She was tried and put to death by hanging on June 10th, 1692. 328 years ago.
That was the beginning of a really wild year of witch-hunting and accusations. So many people were accused including The Corey's and here is where the curse of Giles Corey comes into play.
Currently, I am reading the series A Discovery of Witches, the main character. Diana Bishop, just to happens to be the direct descendent of Bridget.
And that is today in history.