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Wellsburg witch trials recalled

October 16, 2011
The Herald-Star

To the editor:

On Oct. 31, in remembrance of all those accused of being a witch in the British American colonies, I will dress in historical costume as the Rev. Samuel Parris of the famous Salem witch trials, will read the names of the accused on the steps of the Brooke County Courthouse at 9 a.m. and ring a small bell as each name is recalled, after beginning with the Lord's Prayer.

The present building is on the same ground as the old Brooke County Courthouse, which was the site of the Brooke County witch trials that took place when Wellsburg was still called Charlestown, Va. This event is recorded in the "History of Ohio," and based on a firsthand account of a man who attended the event as a little boy. The Rev. Joseph Doddridge wrote "Witchcraft Delusion" and published it in 1824 in Wellsburg, Va. Let us recall that these were a deeply religious people who were from the Calvinist wing of the English church.

Michael Traubert


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