Where Was the First Woman Condemned for Witchcraft? Not in Salem

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tags: Windsor, Salem Witch Trials, Alse Young



As Halloween approaches, crowds will head to Salem, Mass., the longtime epicenter of witch-related tourism. But few will visit Connecticut, where practicing witchcraft became a crime punishable by death in 1642, decades before it was outlawed in Salem.

The Connecticut Colony sent colonial America’s first condemned witch — Alse Young, a resident of Windsor — to the gallows in 1647. A total of 11 people, nine women and two men, were executed by 1662. The men were the husbands of the convicted women. In total, 35 residents were accused of witchcraft. Fearing for their lives, many left their communities.

By 1750, witchcraft was no longer on the books as a crime.




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