Since William Penn presided over the state's only official witch trial in 1684, witchcraft and folk magic have been a part of the Keystone State. Join us for a spooky presentation of the state’s historic witches led by author and archivist Thomas White. He will trace the history and lore of witchcraft and the occult that quietly live on in Pennsylvania even today.
English and German settlers brought their beliefs in magic with them from the Old World --sometimes with dangerous consequences. In 1802, an Allegheny County judge helped an accused witch escape an angry mob. In 1934, Susan Mummey was shot and killed in her home by a young Schuylkill County man who was convinced that she had cursed him. In other regions of the state, views on folk magic were more complex. While hex doctors were feared in the Pennsylvania German tradition, powwowers were revered for their abilities to heal, find lost objects, and even lift curses.
It’s time to get bewitched!
Bio: Thomas White is the university archivist and curator of special collections in the Gumberg Library at Duquesne University. He is also an adjunct lecturer in Duquesne’s history department and an adjunct professor of history at La Roche College. White received a master’s degree in public history from Duquesne University. He is the published author of nine books, all of which focus on Pennsylvania history.
***Copies of the author’s books will be on sale following the presentation***