Witchcraft of Jane Dodson

Witchcraft was used for many as a way of accusing another person that you did not like or had a disagreement with as being a witch, thereby getting them sentenced to death. I think it was so easy for people to believe these claims because of how little we knew as a society. Without science many phenomena’s are completely unexplainable which probably scared the crap out of people of this time. So blaming someone of witchcraft was an easy scapegoat.

Jane Dodson was an old woman that was on trial for being a witch saying she used enchantments and devilish arts to destroy a person. There seemed to be little evidence of how she killed them or why. Persons testified against Jane Dodson is court but she was acquitted because there was no evidence just the word of the accuser. 

It seems that Jane was lucky, even though it was pretty obvious that there was nothing even close to resembling proof that she was a witch, sometimes these trial just went the other way. To me witches are definitely not real and never were, so all of the innocent people that were charged as witches were falsely accused. It seemed easier to prove someone was a witch than to prove that you were not a witch, which is completely unfair. 

The superstition of these people at this time was ridiculous, they seemed to believe anyone told them with confidence. It is fairly understandable considering their lack of science and knowledge but it still a little over the top. Lewis Scaife stated that “Few things have influenced and controlled the destiny of man so largely as superstition. Superstition generally decreases in proportion to mental development.” Lewis has the same view as me that these people just did not know better. They had so many phenomena’s that they could not explain because their mental development was not there yet, which made them succumb to superstitions. 

Ankarloo had a similar opinion to these people he explains that “Witchcraft delusions, were in short, the malady of weak minds. Those believing themselves bewitched or possessed were victims of their own naiveté.” This view goes right with my view and that of Scaife showing that the mental brain power just was not there for these people who believed in sorcery and witchcraft, they were in fact the people with the issues usually, no the ones who were said to be witches. 

http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?id=t16830712-7&div=t16830712-7&terms=witchcraft#highlight

https://engl382fall2013.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/witchcraftmagiceurope1819.pdf

https://engl382fall2013.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/scaife-true-ghost-story.pdf

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One thought on “Witchcraft of Jane Dodson

  1. You did a good job answering all the questions and citing the readings from this week to explain how the hysteria of witchcraft came about and how it has changed.

    Grade: S

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