Witch and teacher ask Halloween forgiveness for executed Lancashire witches
Ahead of Halloween tomorrow, Blackpool Tower Dungeons is calling for restoring the reputations of those killed four centuries ago.
And they want to eradicate the stereotypes attached to modern day witches.
The campaign aims to right the wrongs committed against women and men accused of being witches.
The Lancashire Witch Trials in 1612 were by far the largest peacetime witch trials in England, 10 witches were hanged and a number more were imprisoned.
It all started with a conversation between Alizon Device and a peddler who entered his village.
The peddler suffered what we now recognize as a stroke and thought Alizon had bewitched him.
Local magistrate Roger Nowell began questioning members of the local community, leading them to blame rival families, neighbors and even members of their own families.
Support for the campaign is Robert Poole; professor of history at the University of Central Lancashire, specialist in the history of the Lancashire witch trials and author of “The Wonderful Discovery of the Witches in Lancaster County”.
He said: âThe Lancashire witches have been the victims of a serious miscarriage of justice.
âThey were convicted of an impossible crime, by methods that amounted to persecution, on the basis of manifestly false evidence which they were unable to dispute. It is high time they were pardoned.
âThe whole trial lasted only two days, the women had been held in the dungeon at Lancaster Castle in appalling conditions, sometimes for months without access to lawyers.
âThese poor people were then confronted in court with neighbors and, in some cases, their own families testifying against them.
âIn some cases confessions taken under duress and torture have been used as evidence to convict the accused.
“They were just ordinary people caught up in religious and political persecution by the authorities.”
Semra Haksever, who describes herself as an eclectic, healing and empathetic witch, has also teamed up with The Blackpool Tower Dungeons to fight for an official forgiveness.
Semra said, âFor a long time there has been a narrative attached to witches that it is these scary women in pointy hats brewing potions and performing curses.
âIt is high time those convicted of the Pendle Witch trials had their names cleared and their heritage preserved.
âFor me, I draw inspiration from many different ancient traditions – I believe I was born with a unique sense of connection to metaphysics and mysticism and I am passionate about diffusing positive energy.
âIt is important that we fight for this forgiveness in 2021 in order to recognize how many innocent people have lost their lives. These people have been mistreated, victimized, tortured and ultimately murdered by the authorities, it is important that we honor their spirits.
“We need to demystify what a witch is and challenge stereotypes, in my community there is no such thing as a ‘bad witch’, our witchcraft that we practice is all about empowerment and being in harmony with it. nature, recognizing the energy that surrounds us all.
“To be a witch can mean a lot of things, to be a feminist, a strong and independent woman, a nonconformist, we celebrate freedom and fight against patriarchal conditioning.”
A Dungeon spokesperson said: âThroughout history powerful, stubborn and cunning women have been given the title of witch as a sign of supposed shame; punished for religious difference, indifference or a desire to make their way, without male companions.
âThe Blackpool Tower Dungeons will fight for forgiveness via a Royal Prerogative Proposal for the 10 Lancashire Witches executed. “
Le Donjon has launched a parliamentary petition to force the government to take notice of its campaign.
Kenny Mew, Managing Director of Blackpool Tower Dungeons, said: âBlackpool and the surrounding area have a rich history and the Lancashire witches play a huge role in our attraction. We share their stories with hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, as our guests scream and laugh through Lancashire’s darkest history.
“Now we want to right the wrongs that were done 409 years ago and fight to erase their names – having Semra on board means we are able to really educate people on what it means to be a witch today.” hui and how we can move forward to empower ourselves, rather than ridicule.
âWe need to empower these inspiring women to tell their stories. “
To enable everyday witches to tell their own stories, Blackpool Tower Dungeons is also creating a #imawitch campaign on TikTok from their @blackpool_tower_dungeons channel. The campaign is not just for witches, but for women and men to show solidarity with the cause.
To find the link to the government petition and more information on how you can help the campaign and get involved, visit: