The Haunted Killer Who Believed His Crime Would Free Him From an Evil Spell

It had been eight years since Susan Mummey, “the witch of Ringtown Valley,” had put a spell on Albert Shinsky, or so he’d come to believe. The “hex,” to use the vernacular of their Pennsylvania Dutch community, made him haunted and depressed, and eventually drove him to murder. »8/20/15 1:00am8/20/15 1:00am

In 1937, A Badass Old Lady Sued Her Neighbor For Calling Her a Witch

This is the Virginia home of “Aunt Jane” Dutton in 1937, when the 82-year-old was accused by her neighbor, “Rocky Joe” Stanley, 83, of being a witch—a slanderous accusation so low she sought a warrant for his arrest. The ensuing trial offered a fascinating mix of courtroom drama and local folklore. »7/24/15 2:40pm7/24/15 2:40pm

Witches Protest Etsy's New Ban On Sale of "Metaphysical Services"

Ebay banned the sale of spells back in 2012, and Etsy has followed suit, adjusting its guidelines on what kind of services can be sold through the site. No longer allowed: “any metaphysical service that promises or suggests it will effect a physical change (e.g., weight loss) or other outcome (e.g., love, revenge).” »6/18/15 3:00pm6/18/15 3:00pm

The Real-Life Letter Of Apology Written By The Salem Witch Trial Jury

It's almost October, which means Halloween is just around the corner — the witching hour to end all witching hours is almost upon us. But about the real-life stories of witches who were burned and celebrated? A new book, The Penguin Book of Witches, provides actual documents. And we've got a doozy of an excerpt. »9/30/14 1:50pm9/30/14 1:50pm

Salem Could Have Been Scarier If It Had Been More Historically Accurate

The first season of Salem has come to close with a good deal of blood and a major revelation, but as we reflect on the season, it's clear that the show missed an opportunity to mine its historical inspiration. While Salem went for gore and the occasional bit of shock value, it ignored the truly terrifying paranoia… »7/14/14 9:15pm7/14/14 9:15pm

The best quote from election night managed to incorporate a Dune reference

Nate Silver is the talk of the internet today, and for good reason. When every news outlet on the planet was presenting the presidential race as a dead heat, the NYT's political stats guru was giving Obama a greater than 90 percent chance of clinching a second term — a call he's been making for weeks. In any case: the… »11/07/12 5:26pm11/07/12 5:26pm