List of people executed for witchcraft
This is a list of people executed for witchcraft, many of whom were executed during organised witch-hunts, particularly from the 15th 18th centuries CE. Large numbers of people were prosecuted for witchcraft in Europe between 1560 and 1630. Until around 1420, witchcraft-related prosecutions in Europe centred around maleficium, the concept of using supernatural powers specifically to harm others. Cases came about from accusations of the use of ritual magic to damage rivals. Up until the early 15th century, there was little association of witchcraft with Satan. From that time organised witch-hunts increased, as did individual accusations of sorcery. The nature of the charges brought changed as more cases were linked to diabolism. Throughout the century, a number of treatises were published that helped to establish a stereotype of the witch, particularly the Satanic connection. During the 16th century, witchcraft prosecutions stabilised and even declined in some areas. Witch-hunts increased again in the 17th century. The witch trials in Early Modern Europe included the Basque witch trials in Spain, the Fulda witch trials in Germany, the North Berwick witch trials in Scotland and the Torsåker witch trials in Sweden.
Witch-hunts also took place during the 17th century in the American colonies. These were particularly common in the colonies of Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Haven. The myth of the witch had a strong cultural presence in 17th century New England and, as in Europe, witchcraft was strongly associated with devil-worship. About eighty people were accused of practising witchcraft in a witch-hunt that lasted throughout New England from 1648-1663. Thirteen women and two men were executed.  The Salem witch trials followed in 1692 3, culminating in the executions of 19 people.
Tens of thousands of people were executed for witchcraft in Europe and the American colonies. Although it is not possible to ascertain the exact number, modern scholars estimate around 40 50,000.[A] Common methods of execution for convicted witches were hanging, drowning and burning. Burning was often favoured, particularly in Europe, as it was considered a more painful way to die. Prosecutors in the American colonies generally preferred hanging in cases of witchcraft.
List and images of those executed for witchcraft
Agnes Bernauer, executed in 1435.
Catherine Deshayes aka La Voisin, executed in 1680.
Urbain Grandier, executed in 1634.
Execution of Ann Hibbins on Boston Common, June 19, 1656. Sketch by F.T. Merril, 1886
Giles Corey being crushed to death, 1692
Martha Corey was executed in 1692
The Trial of George Jacobs who was executed in 1692. Painting by Thomkins Matteson, 1855
Agnes Waterhouse was executed in Chelmsford, England in 1566
Name Lifetime Nationality Notes
Johann Albrecht Adelgrief d. 1636 German Executed after claiming to be a prophet.
Marigje Arriens ca. 1520 1591 Dutch Burned to death for sorcery.
Angéle de la Barthe ca. 1230 1275 French Found guilty of sexual relations with the devil and burned to death.
Goodwife Bassett d. 1651 British American colonist at Fairfield, Connecticut
Agnes Bernauer ca. 1410 1435 German Convicted of witchcraft and thrown in the Danube to drown, following accusations by her father-in-law Ernest, Duke of Bavaria.
Merga Bien 1560s 1603 German Convicted as part of the Fulda witch trials and burned to death.
Lasses Birgitta d. 1550 Swedish The first woman executed for witchcraft in Sweden; beheaded.
Bridget Bishop ca. 1632 1692 English (emigrated to British America) The first person to be tried and executed during the Salem witch trials.
Giovanna Bonanno d. 1789 Italian A widow and beggar who sold to her neighbours potions and spells intended to kill people. Accused of sorcery and hanged to death.