Witchcraft in the American Colonies Beyond the Limits of Salem


  • Amanda Underwood Wichita State University


witchcraft, witch trials, Salem Witch Trials, Europe, Grace Sherwood, United States, Virginia Colony


In the United States, witchcraft has become synonymous with Salem. When it comes to the history of witchcraft in the United States the conversation tends to be dominated by Salem, as the words witchcraft and Salem seem to have become synonymous. What is also well known is that the Salem Witch Trials led to the deaths of so many and the imprisonment of dozens more. However, fears of witchcraft and witch hunts and trials have occurred all over the world. There is documentation of witches and persecution of people thought to be witches on every continent that people inhabit. In the last few decades, as the subject of women's history has flourished there has been an abundance of research done on the topic of witchcraft and its impacts in the American colonies. However, a majority of this research and the scholarly writings have focused on the Salem Witch Trials. While this has drawn more of the general population into the topic, there is still far more research that is needed on the other witch trials that occurred in the American colonies. Salem has a well-publicized and understood history when it comes to witchcraft and trials, but there are many trials that preceded and followed those that occurred in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.