I love my job and have certainly enjoyed this placement in the Northwest of England, in Lancashire. There is quite a documented history here of the Pendle Witches in Lancashire. In 1612 ten people were executed as witches. Their story is one of politics, fear and how story telling could at that time change or even take someone’s life. There were actually laws at that time that accepted witches existed, so these poor people where put on trial at Lancaster. You can actually go and visit the castle where the trial was held.
This excellent BBC production can take you on the journey from your armchair. It is well worth watching Tells you all about this event, taking you along the paths walked by the witches and their accusers.
Lancashire has embraced its history and there are lots of activities surrounding the Pendle Witches, children are encouraged to learn their history in various ways. One of the competition entries wrote about how she was part of a project in 2012 discovering the story of the witches, and over Halloween attended a residential weekend where they all told spooky stories; hers was about the child of one of the witches who turned on her mother.
16 century England was not a place to be old or ugly and have a cat, apparently those are the most obvious signs of being a witch, I guess being old and cantankerous wouldn’t help either. If combined with the above you happened to have a wart or mole then it was obvious you had signed a pact with the devil.
Book suggestions: ‘Sweep ‘by Cate Tiernan. YA fantasy novel about a young witch and the adventures she has with her friends and you must try “ Mist over Pendle” by Robert Neill