The Victims

"When we turn to the Burning Times it's easy to lose track of individuals, of the women, men, and animals who suffered and died in these hunts. We're numbed by endless streams of numbers. "800 dead in Eichstatt. Over 7,000 accused in Basque Navarre. 25,000 victims in Germany alone." Numbers like these give us a sense of the breadth of the persecution -- but the deepest lessons of the Burning Times lie in the tales of the Witches themselves. Their stories, their sufferings, offer our best hope of understanding why these horrors occurred. And, perhaps, of how we can prevent them from ever returning. The following files tell the tales of Witches and their familiars. Each story is based on literary or trial evidence, listed at the end of the file. Anything in quotation marks comes directly from the original trial or pamphlet." ..........................................................Jenny Gibbons

Gamperle Coven: The Gamperle family were a group of hereditary Witches who lived near Dettingen, Germany, around 1600. They are the only Witches I've ever heard of who were actually captured at their rites.

Paolo Gasparutto: Paolo Gasparutto lived in the Alpine village of Iassico, Italy, in the late 16th century. From birth, he'd been singled out by Fate. Paulo was born with a caul, the fetal membrane that sometimes covers a new-born's face.

Johannes Junius: A Witch's Letter to His Daughter

Ann Kaserin: Ann Kaserin and her husband Georg Kaser kept an inn in Eichstatt, Germany, in the early 17th century. Eichstatt was hit by a Witch craze, one of the worst that Germany experienced.

Sathan: Once upon a time (say, somewhere around 1520), a cat named Sathan lived in the town of Hatfield Peverel, England.

Maria de Ximildegui: The Basque people live in the Pyrenees Mountains which divide France and Spain. Around 1608, the French government heard complaints that Witchcraft was rife in the Basque communities of Pays de Labord.