Article Archive >> Community

Witchcraft in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania Presentation

Witchcraft in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania Presentation

Hagerstown, MD (September 17, 2008)- The staff of the Jonathan Hager House invite you to attend a free lecture at the Hager House on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 7pm to explore the little-known tales of witchcraft in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. The witchcraft hysteria of the late 17th century was not limited to the colony of Massachusetts. Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania also witnessed men and women charged and some even executed for the crime of witchcraft.
According to John Bryan, Historic Sites Facilitator, "Many people may not be aware that witchcraft was well known in many American colonies, even before the hysteria that swept through New England." Although the term witchcraft surfaced in numerous slander cases, there were actually several women who were found guilty of sorcery and executed-some by court order and other by people who took matters into their own hands. Some of the accused had to undergo various tests to prove their innocence. Research has uncovered at least 23 cases in these three states, including three in Pennsylvania, nine in Virginia and 11 in Maryland.
Bryan explains that Maryland had its own witch hunter, the Reverend Francis Doughtie. Although he cannot be compared to the Reverend Increase and Reverend Cotton Mather, both of whom were involved in the infamous cases in Salem, Massachusetts, Reverend Doughtie was instrumental in the accusations brought against Joan Mitchell in 1659. Hagerstown also had its very own witch named Mary Tyler. Tyler appeared in a local newspaper account in 1900 when she was arrested for invoking witchcraft on the streets of Hagerstown in an attempt to drive away evil spirits. Mary Tyler and her husband Dennis were arrested and jailed. Other accounts from this period describe Dennis Tyler as a voodoo man.
All of the known details of the witchcraft cases in these three states will be discussed during this fee slide show program at the Jonathan Hager House. The Hager House is located at 110 Key Street in Hagerstown's City Park. Get in the Halloween spirit and come out for some interesting and true stories from our own backyard. Call 301-739-8393 or email for more information

Printable version

<< back to Articles on Community
<< back to All Articles