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Top 10 Famous Witches in History

Famous Witches in History

In the past, a witch was considered to be someone who had contact with the devil and usually possessed a malevolent influence. From the 13th century, the Catholic Church actually started persecuting and punishing witches. In the 15th century, the Inquisition was created as an ecclesiastical court to seek out and try heretics (including witches). From that moment on, there was literally a real ‘witch hunt’. Tens of thousands of innocent women were burned at the stake. Below is a top 10 list of famous witches.

10. Catherine “La Voisin” Monvoisin

Catherine Deshayes Monvoisin was a famous fortune teller who predicted the future for noblemen and high society. The brewing of aphrodisiacs and poisonous drinks was also one of her specialties. Her most important client was Madame de Montespan, mistress of the French king Louis XIV. Catherine Monvoisin also organized “black masses,” in which babies were killed as a sacrifice.


Catherine Monvoisin was arrested on March 12, 1679. She was charged with witchcraft, among other things, and died at the stake in Paris on February 22, 1680. After her death, it was revealed that she was also involved in an attempted poisoning of King Louis XIV.

9. Agnes Sampson

Agnes Sampson lived in the Scottish town of Nether Keith and worked as a midwife and healer. She possessed a great knowledge of medicinal herbs and was famous for her medicinal qualities. In the superstitious Scotland of the time, it was quickly thought that she possessed supernatural powers.

That was dangerous at the time, because witch hunts were in full swing. In 1590, the Scottish king James VI married Anne, the daughter of the Danish king. On the way back to Scotland a violent storm arose, which nearly sank Anne’s boat. This incident sparked a major witch hunt in Scotland. Agnes Sampson, along with many other women, was arrested and charged with “conjuring up” the storm. After days of torture, she was forced to admit everything she was accused of. She died at the stake.Her ghost is said to haunt Holyrood Palace to this day , the royal palace in Edinburgh.

8. Alice Kyteler

Alice Kyteler was the first woman charged with witchcraft in Ireland . Alice married wealthy men four times, who bequeathed their wealth to Alice after their sudden death. After the strange death of her fourth husband, his children, of whom Alice was the stepmother, no longer trusted the business. Alice was accused of poisoning her fourth husband, and probably her three previous husbands as well. In addition, she was accused of performing satanic rituals and sacrificing animals to the devil. In the year 1324 she was found guilty of witchcraft and sentenced to death. However, Alice was able to escape the night before her execution. She was never heard from again.

7. Angele de la Barthe

The (fictional) story of Angèle de la Barthe is set in medieval Toulouse. She was a wealthy noblewoman who allegedly had sexual relations with the devil himself. The result was the birth of a devilish son, who had the head of a wolf and the tail of a serpent. This monster only ate the corpses of babies. Angèle was accused of kidnapping and killing numerous babies in the area.

In 1275 she was sentenced to death for witchcraft. She died at the stake in Toulouse. Recent research, however, has shown that her story was probably made up entirely by a 15th-century writer.

6. Merga Bien

During the infamous Fulda (Germany) witch trials that took place from 1603 to 1606, the Prince-Abbot Balthasar von Dernbach had no fewer than 250 innocents executed. The wealthy Merga Bien was probably the most famous victim. She was accused of killing her second husband and her children. It was also claimed that she had taken part in a witches’ Sabbath and was pregnant with a child of the devil. She was forced to admit these accusations and was burned at the stake in 1603.

5. Mother Shipton

Ursula Southeil, better known as ‘Mother Shipton’, is a figure from English folklore. She is said to have been the daughter of a teenage mother who gave birth to Ursula in 1488 at the age of 15. She was a deformed child and very ugly. Ursula was considered a queer girl. She was soon labeled a witch with demonic powers. She had one important gift: to predict the future. She is said to have predicted the great fire in London (1666) and the downfall of Cardinal Wolsey (1529). Ursula Shipton is said to have been buried in unconsecrated earth around 1561. However, it has never been proven that Mother Shipton actually existed.

4. Maret Jonsdotter

Maret Jonsdotter was one of the first women to be convicted and burned at the stake during the great Swedish witch trial ‘The Great Noise’ (‘Det Stora Oväsendet’, from 1668 to 1676). This was the beginning of an unprecedented witch persecution in Sweden, which ultimately took the lives of 280 women.

Maret Jonsdotter was accused in 1669 of having ridden a man as if he were a horse, en route to the fabled island of Blockula, where the devil lived and held witches’ sabbaths. She would also have ridden on cows to Blockula and slaughtered them as a sacrifice to the devil. Maret denied all charges and could not be sentenced to death under the then laws of the Swedish courts. That finally happened in 1672, where Maret was first beheaded and then burned at the stake.

3. Marie Laveau

Creole woman Marie Laveau was born in New Orleans in 1794. She worked as a hairdresser but developed a huge interest in voodoo. She even went so far as to be named the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. She had thousands of followers. In 1874, as many as 12,000 people attended one of her voodoo ceremonies. Her daughter also practiced voodoo.
At that time, there were no longer any witch hunts. Marie Laveau died peacefully in 1881. Her daughter inherited the title of voodoo queen.

2. Agnes Waterhouse

Agnes Waterhouse is one of the most famous English witches. At her trial, she admitted to worshiping the devil, cursing people, and even killing people with black magic. She was helped by her cat, who was called Satan. In 1566 she was charged with causing a mysterious illness in a man who died shortly afterwards. She was also accused of killing livestock and spreading disease through sorcery. In 1566 Agnes was hanged. This was the beginning of many executions of alleged witches in England.

1. The Witches of Salem

The Salem witch trials (in Massachusetts, United States) went down in history as a textbook example of injustice and paranoia. In 1692, when two young girls from Salem began to behave strangely, throwing things, screaming constantly and adopting unnatural postures, the local doctor diagnosed them as “possession.” This soon led to the arrest and imprisonment of more than 200 people accused of witchcraft. After the trials, 19 convicts were hanged, while many died while incarcerated. It would take until 1954 (!) before the American government cleared the accused of all blame.

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