June 16, 2024

What famous witch names can you think of? If you’re like me recently, not many! For such an instantly recognizable figure of legend and fiction, I found it surprising how few truly famous actual witches are still known today. We can think of The Wicked Witch of the East from the Wizard of Oz, Samantha from Bewitched and most recently Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, no problem. But outside of the imaginary witches, there are also stories of real witches, those that created interest and intrigue in their time. Too many of the true stories of their lives will now be lost, but let’s look at some of the famous witch names from history and why they were famous / infamous!

Granny Boswell 1813-1906

A Roma gypsy, she was known as a Cornish witch, but was actually born in Ireland. She was a well-known rampage, at least in the eyes of the authorities, she was often seen drunk on the street! But his reputation lives on in a curious story, told by the son of a man who was the victim of his contempt. Since cars were a novelty, Grandma Boswell was fascinated to see one about to approach her, while she was standing on the road! The driver, the narrator’s father, honked his horn and told him to pull away. She yelled insults and told him that the vehicle would not reach the end of the road. It was not like that, they collapsed before reaching the end of the street.

Tammy Blee 1798-1856

Another of Cornwall’s “cunning people”, Tammy Blee (Tamsin Blight) was known to go into trances to communicate with the dead. She was also a local spellmaker, working with herbs and divination.

Witches of Pendle Hill – 1612

The Pendle Hill witches will go down in history as the center of one of Britain’s largest and most notorious witch trials. The most prominent characters were “Old Demdike” and “Old Chattox”, who were rivals that led his entire family to enmity with them. Eleven were involved in trials that relied heavily on prejudice, gossip and superstition and there was little hope of being found innocent. Demdike died in prison while Chattox, along with most of the defendants, went to the gallows.

Joan Wytte 1775-1813

Known as “Bodmin’s Fighting Fairy Woman”. While she started out as a clairvoyant and healer, she later turned aggressive due to a tooth abscess which unfortunately led locals to believe that she was possessed by the devil. She was incarcerated in Bodmin Jail, where she died of bronchial pneumonia. Their bones were kept in the Museum of Witchcraft until rumored that poltergeist activity forced them to bring in the help of a witch. He said Joan wanted to be buried and was finally buried in Boscastle in 1998.

Dolly Pentreath died in 1777

The fisherwoman from Mousehole. He was a formidable character who took on the Press Gang when they came to look for men to “recruit” for the navy. She was also an astrologer and was believed to have magical powers, but she was always found smoking a pipe and drinking from her pint glass.

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