The little-known story of the first witch hunt in New England—nearly half a century before Salem.
Connecticut’s witch hunt was the first and most ferocious in New England, occurring almost fifty years before the infamous Salem witch trials. Between 1647 and 1697, at least thirty-four men and women from across the state were formally charged with witchcraft. Eleven were hanged.
In New Haven, William Meeker was accused of cutting off and burning his pig’s ears and tail as he cast a bewitching spell. After the hanging of Fairfield’s Goody Knapp, magistrates cut down and searched her body for the marks of the devil. In this book, through newspaper clippings, court records, letters, and diaries, former New York Times correspondent Cynthia Wolfe Boynton uncovers the dark history of the Connecticut witch trials.