Spain’s Centuries-Long Witch Hunt Killed 700 Women
In recent years, local officials have broken the spell and apologized for what happened generations ago
The Veterinary Magic of the Middle Ages
Medieval healers treated animals' ailments with a mix of faith, tradition and science
What Does It Mean to Be a Witch Today?
A new exhibition on the Salem witch trials explores how the meaning of the word "witch" has evolved through the centuries
A Brief History of the Salem Witch Trials
One town's strange journey from paranoia to pardon
This Summer’s Drought Is Europe's Worst in 500 Years. What Happened Last Time?
The 1540 megadrought brought mass suffering to the continent, but European society quickly bounced back
Last Convicted Salem 'Witch' Is Finally Cleared
Elizabeth Johnson Jr. has been officially exonerated—thanks to a dogged band of middle schoolers
When Authorities Dunked Outspoken Women in Water
In early modern England, women accused of being "common scolds" were immersed in rivers and lakes while strapped to contraptions known as ducking stools
In Early Modern Russia, the Majority of Accused 'Witches' Were Men
Orthodox Russians deployed magic for practical purposes, like inflicting illness, harming business competitors and attracting lovers
The Ancient Origins of the Easter Bunny
A scholar traces the folk figure's history from the Neolithic era to today
Scotland Issues Formal Apology to Thousands Accused of Witchcraft
An estimated 2,500 Scots were executed as witches between the 16th and 18th centuries
Scotland Considers Pardon for Thousands of Accused 'Witches'
Advocates are calling on leaders to exonerate the thousands of women and men targeted in witch hunts during the 16th through 18th centuries
For Harry Houdini, Séances and Spiritualism Were Just an Illusion
The magician spent years campaigning against fraudulent psychics, even lobbying Congress to ban fortune-telling in D.C.
Reckoning With—and Reclaiming—the Salem Witch Trials
A new exhibition unites 17th-century artifacts with contemporary artists' responses to the mass hysteria event
Why Dragons Dominated the Landscape of Medieval Monsters
The mythical beasts were often cast as agents of the devil or demons in disguise
When People Carved Turnips Instead of Pumpkins for Halloween
Revelers in Ireland transformed the root vegetables into lanterns designed to ward off dark spirits
Obsidian 'Spirit Mirror' Used by Elizabeth I's Court Astrologer Has Aztec Origins
Tudor polymath John Dee used the artifact in his attempts to communicate with angels and apparitions
This Eighth-Grade Class Wants to Clear the Name of an Accused Salem 'Witch'
Elizabeth Johnson Jr. was sentenced to death in 1693 but escaped execution after receiving a reprieve from Massachusetts' governor
Why Did Women Stop Dominating the Beer Industry?
Strict gender norms pushed them out of a centuries-long tradition
The Heiress Who Stole a Vermeer, Witchcraft in Post-WWII Germany and Other New Books to Read
These five November releases may have been lost in the news cycle
The Little-Known Story of 16th- to 18th-Century Nordic Witch Trials
An art exhibition in Copenhagen and a museum in Ribe revisit witchcraft's legacy in Denmark and neighboring countries