Witchy Woman

In the case of Elizabeth Johnson, I think people are blaming her insanity on witchcraft. Johnson was obviously a bit delusional. She believed that she was Egyptian and had a connection to dark spirits and that she knew where secret treasure was buried. The article said she used to wander the streets at night. To me, that sounds like the act of a crazy woman. I’m not going to pretend that I know what kind of mental disorder she may have but I do think that that’s what’s wrong with her. She told a little girl that there was treasure in her basement and explained how to get to it but in the meantime, she stole the little girl’s precious items that she kept in her apron. To me, that really just sounds like a clever thief. There was never actually a trial in this instance but rather the charges were dropped. But I think that this particular instance is worth noting because of her actions before the thievery. It says that she walked up and down the street for a few days before the thievery and I think that just sounds like the actions of a sick woman, not a witch.

In the trial of Susanna Martin from Burr’s is similar in the way that people all sound insane. People are saying that she made all of these seemingly supernatural things happen. That sounds like the ramblings of an insane person before that. Particularly, the bit before Susanna’s trial, Burr records the event of a large thunderstorm that set a house on fire and called it witchcraft. That is utterly ridiculous. Seemingly supernatural phenomenon was called witchcraft and I think it’s very funny. I said something in class about how these phenomenon were comparable to “miracles” and yet they’re cast as evil. Ankarloo and Clarke’s account states “To deny Scripture miracles was atheistic, but to expect new wonders was ‘enthusiasm.’” That’s exactly what I mean in my argument. These people couldn’t deny the existence of witches because that meant denying the existence of the supernatural which denied the existence of God. However, I’m not sure how the witchy antics got posed as a negative. Granted, they very quickly delved into harmful and malicious attacks on others but they began as just strange events. One must wonder why these predictions of the future and small supernatural phenomena turned into a witchhunt to the death.

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One thought on “Witchy Woman

  1. I like how you addressed that people may have believed those who are mentally ill to be witches just because they didn’t understand. It highlights the ignorance of the time period. You did a good job of using the readings to explain your point.

    Grade: S

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