New Haven Witches

“There were four prosecutions and also two slander suits over witchcraft in New Haven Colony…. Records survive for prosecutions against Elizabeth Godman and Nicholas and Eleanor Bayley.

The Bayleys were banished from the colony and Godman was strongly reprimanded for suspicion of witchcraft and required to post bond for her good behavior. Most of the documents for these cases are reprinted in David D. Hall, (ed.), Witchhunting in Seventeenth Century New England: A Documentary History, 1638-1692.

A Goody Knapp was executed in 1653 in Fairfield under New Haven’s jurisdiction, but the trial record does not survive. Suspicion that Mary Staples was a witch was the subject of a slander suit…”


From Dayton, Cornelia Hughes.  Women Before the Bar: Gender, Law and Society in Connecticut
1639-1789 (Published for the Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg,
Virginia, by the University of North Carolina Press, 1995. Footnote 28, page 33).  More info.



See also:

Demos, John. Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England (New York: 1982).  More info.