Reverse Witch-Trials and Making a Fortune: Witchcraft, Magic and Money in the Nineteenth-Century North East

Reverse Witch-Trials and Making a Fortune: Witchcraft, Magic and Money in the Nineteenth-Century North East
This one hour talk will explore the reverse witch-trials in the North East during the Nineteenth-Century.



In 1868, 90-year old Phyllis Myers brought her own son and daughter-in-law to court, claiming that she had been violently attacked. Her son defended himself by claiming his mother was a witch and had used her magic against his own son, so he had ‘scratched’ her to get her blood and break the spell. Called ‘reverse witch trials’, these instances represent a hidden side of England’s witchcraft history. Though witchcraft had long been decriminalized in Britain, belief in dark magic was alive and well in the region well into the nineteenth century. This talk looks at this lingering belief in the supernatural as it reveals itself in folklore collections, newspaper archives and the criminal courts.



Katie Liddane is an expert in the supernatural and social history of the North East, with a focus on seventeenth century witch-trials. Following local stories from past to present: her work covers the relationship between historical events and folklore, and how this is represented in fiction and film.

Event Dates

Date Available Ticket Types Ticket Price Book Tickets
22nd October 2022,
6:00pm
  • Standard
  • GBP 6
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