In the United States, the first witch trial is believed to have occurred in Springfield, Mass., in 1645. A fervor for hunting witches led to an increase in prosecutions in New England, and New York, in the 1650s and 1666s. Women would be accused of witchcraft within New York’s colonial borders into the mid-1700s. Some of these trials would have a lasting impact on the colony and the country.
The 1650s was not an easy time to be a woman, especially if a neighbor held a personal grudge. In East Hampton, Long Island in 1657 Elizabeth “Goody” Garlick was accused of witchcraft, after 16-year-old Elizabeth Gardiner Howell became ill and suffered fevered dreams and delusions. [Read more…] about Witchcraft Claims In East Hampton, Long Island