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Albany Bulb Sea Witch Prays to the Pink and Purple Sky.

Untwisting the Knotted History of Sea Witches

You might have noticed that Ursula, the antagonist in Disney's The Little Mermaid (1989), was a sea witch disguised as a half-human, half-octopus mythological hybrid creature . And, the antagonist of...
Depiction of the hanging of Elizabeth Wilson, with William Wilson coming with the pardon (from a later edition of The Pennsylvania Hermit).

The Pennsylvania Hermit: The Woeful Tale of a Grieving Brother’s Broken-hearted Hermitage

William “Amos” Wilson, who is known also as the Pennsylvania Hermit, is a figure in the folklore of Pennsylvania, more specifically of its south-eastern and south-central regions. William lived...
Skiing Birchlegs Crossing the Mountain with the Royal Child by Knud Larsen Bergslien

The Birkebeiners and a Heroic Mountain Rescue that Helped Unify Medieval Norway

The rebels were so poor that their shoes were made of birch. The wealthier, better-established party derided the upstarts in state-sponsored propaganda, labeling them ‘birkebeiners’ after their birch...
Phryne, The Ancient Greek Prostitute Who Flashed Her Way to Freedom

Phryne, The Ancient Greek Prostitute Who Flashed Her Way to Freedom

Phryne the Thespian was a famed courtesan of Athens, better known for the court case she won by baring her breasts. Her actual name was Mnesarete but people referred to her as Phryne (“toad”) because...
Victims of Arrogance and Cruelty: The Pendle Witch Trials of 1612

Victims of Arrogance and Cruelty: The Pendle Witch Trials of 1612

Witch trials are amongst some of the cruelest events in European history. Thousands of innocent women were murdered by fake accusations. In England, one of the most famous trials took place in 1612,...
Cadaver Synod: The Exhumed Corpse of Pope Formosus That Was Put on Trial

Cadaver Synod: The Exhumed Corpse of Pope Formosus That Was Put on Trial

The 9 th and 10 th centuries AD were turbulent years for the papacy of Rome. Caught up in the political machinations of Europe, the Vatican saw a rapid succession of popes come and go. The situation...
The Untold Story of Walpurga Hausmannin: An Infamous German Witch

The Untold Story of Walpurga Hausmannin: An Infamous German Witch

The legend of Walpurga Hausmannin is one of the scariest witch stories in the world. It is told as a tale of one of the most horrible killers in German history. However, the story seems to be half-...
Gone and Forgotten: The Sad Fate of the Witches of Prussia

Gone and Forgotten: The Sad Fate of the Witches of Prussia

The region of Prussia in Central Europe is a unique place due to the large number of cultures which have resided and met there. These lands were also a hotbed for witchcraft and a cruel fate for...
A witch in prison by dg2001

Archaeologists Identify Scottish Church Where Accused 16th Century Witches Were Imprisoned

Researchers think they have found architectural features in a church in Aberdeen, Scotland, where accused witches were held during the Great Witch Hunt of 1596-‘97 and later strangled as an act of ‘...
Detail from an illustration of a body in its coffin that starts to bleed in the presence of the murderer during a cruentation 1497.

The Bizarre Importance of Bleeding Bodies in Medieval Trials

The history of criminal justice and forensic science is really interesting because of all the absurd rituals and superstitions courts relied on to determine guilt or innocence right up until the 19th...