WVXU: Bethel, Ohio, had its own witch trial

UC history professor explains the thinking behind an 1805 Ohio witch trial

During the Salem Witch Trials of the 17th century, things never seemed to go well for the accused. But in Ohio, a witch trail didn’t end with a drowned “witch”.

Trials of one sort or another continued long after the infamous Salem Witch Trials. Even today, we still have the term "witch hunt."

"People, when they say that now, they tend to mean trumped up charges that are baseless and that are simply done as a kind of cynical cover for what people actually want to do, which is to just persecute people," Erika Gasser, a UC associate professor of history, tells WVXU in “All Things Considered”.

Gasser says it's important to remember actual witch trials were conducted by people who were sincere, and after formal trials ended many Americans still wanted officials to prosecute those they suspected of harming them. 

Listen to how the trial unfolded. 

Featured image of witch with pumpkin: Photo/Yakovleva/Unsplash


Impact Lives Here

The University of Cincinnati is leading public urban universities into a new era of innovation and impact. Our faculty, staff and students are saving lives, changing outcomes and bending the future in our city's direction. Next Lives Here.