Hopkins, Matthew (?–1647?) England’s most notorious professional witch-hunter, who brought about the condemnations and executions of at least 230 alleged witches, more than all other witch-hunters combined during the 160-year peak of the country’s witch hysteria. Hopkins was born in Wenham, Suffolk, the son of a minister. Little is known[…]

Mathew Hopkins

Hibbins, Ann (d. 1656) Prominent Boston woman convicted of witchcraft and executed. Her chief crime as a witch seemed to have been a bad temper, which was disliked by her neighbors. Ann Hibbins was married to William Hibbins, a well-to-do merchant in Boston. She also was the sister of Richard[…]

Hibbins, Ann (d. 1656)

Hawkins, Jane (17th century) Massachusetts midwife and healer expelled on suspicions of witchcraft in the delivery of a deformed, stillborn fetus. The witchcraft accusations were mixed with a religious controversy affecting Jane Hawkins as well. Hawkins, married to Richard Hawkins, was well known for her midwifery skills and medical remedies.[…]

Hawkins, Jane (17th century)

Gwydion the Wizard In Welsh Celtic mythology, the heroic wizard (see wizard) and bard of North Wales, whose tales are told in The Mabinogion. Gwydion the Wizard was the son of Don, the Welsh goddess who is a counterpart of the Irish Celtic goddess Danu. He was one of three[…]

Gwydion the Wizard

Guazzo, Francesco-Maria (17th century) Italian friar who became well known as a demonologist and opponent of witches. Francesco-Maria Guazzo is best known as the author of Compendium Maleficarum (Handbook of Witches), a leading inquisitor’s guide. Little is known about Guazzo’s life. He joined the Brethren of St. Ambrose ad Nemus[…]

Guazzo, Francesco-Maria (17th century)

German trader accused of sorcery by Pueblo Indians in northern New Mexico. Bernardo Gruber was imprisoned. He escaped but died a strange death. In 1668, Gruber arrived in New Mexico with a pack train of mules bearing fine goods. It was said that he was fearless and traveled through the[…]

Gruber, Bernardo (17th century)

Hartford, Connecticut, woman accused of witchcraft, who confessed and was executed. Rebecca Greensmith and her third husband, Nathaniel, lived next door to Ann Cole. The couple were reasonably affluent, but Rebecca was considered a “lewd and ignorant” woman. In 1662, when Cole was brought up on charges of witchcraft, Greensmith[…]

Greensmith, Rebecca (17th century)

Graves, William (17th century) Connecticut man accused of witchcraft over a dispute with his daughter and son-in-law. Though no legal action was taken against William Graves, his case indicates how easily personal squabbles could be turned into serious witchcraft charges. Graves’ daughter, Abigail, married a man named Samuel Dibble. Graves[…]

Graves, William (17th century)

Scottish witch whose stories of wild sexual escapades with the Devil titillated and shocked her stern neighbors and reinforced the prevailing beliefs in witches as evil creatures bent on destroying their fellow man. Isobel Gowdie, an attractive woman with red hair, a color associated with witches, voluntarily confessed to witchcraft[…]

Gowdie, Isobel (?–ca. 1662)

One of the first people to be accused of witchcraft in the Salem Witches hysteria of 1692–93. Sarah Good was executed by hanging and on the gallows delivered a famous curse that seemed to bear true. Good was married to her second husband, William Good. They had at least one[…]

Good, Sarah (d. 1692)

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