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Half-Hanged Mary


In the depths of American history there are few examples of mass hysteria that loom larger than the Salem witch trials of 1692. As horrific as it was, it was far from the only example of witch-hunting in Massachusetts’ history. In fact, ten years before hysteria over black magic gripped the village of Salem, similar accusations of witchcraft were aimed at Mary Webster of Hadley, a small village in Western Massachusetts.  

Thank you to the incredible Dave White for Research assistance.


Clancy, Hal. 1977. "In good old days, wicthes would hang for a May snow." The Boston Globe, May 14: 1.

Judd, Sylvester. 1905. History of Hadley. Springfield, MA: H.R. Hunting.

Manning, Alice. 1976. "Witches in the Connecticut Valley: a historical perspective." Daily Hampshire Gazette, December 15: 35.

Marshall, Bridget. 2003. "Mary (Reeve) Webster, the "Witch" of Hadley." University of Massachusetts Lowell. Accessed August 28, 2023. https://faculty.uml.edu//bmarshall/Mary%20Webster.htm.

Mather, Cotton. 1967. Magnalia Christi Americana. New York, NY: Russell and Russell.

Perera, Lisa. 1992. "Before Salem, Valley had witch trials of its own." Daily Hampshire Gazette, May 16: 22.

Smith, Anna. 2019. The Witch of Hadley: Mary Webster, the Weird, and the Wired. October 15. Accessed August 28, 2023. https://www.massreview.org/node/7575.

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