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The Most Famous Witches Of History Of World

famous witches of history
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Growing up, we’ve been taught to differentiate myths and fairytales from reality. However, one would be shocked to know the rich, profound history that surrounds the topic of witches. It has been thousands of years since witches and witchcraft first appeared. In fact, there have been many famous witches of history, one being the most famous witch in the world, while others are specific to their location, like the most famous witch in England.

Witches, usually perceived as evil, have a long, elaborate history rooted in reality. You’d also be interested and intrigued to know who the first witch in history was — as this determined the path and identity of the witches that followed after. Without further ado, let’s look into the history of most famous witches.

The First Witch In History

Truth be told, much cannot be traced back to the existence of the first-ever witch. What we could trace back to was the first witch in history to ever have been found and executed; comparatively different from the very origin of witches. Historically, we probably wouldn’t be able to tell who the “first” witch was. However, we’ve seen mentions of witches in historical pieces and religious books.

The Bible’s book of 1 Samuel, which is believed to have been written between the period of 931 and 721 B.C., provides us with one of the first accounts of a witch’s existence. In order to overcome the Philistine army, King Saul sought the assistance of the Witch of Endor. This was the first such specification of what a “witch” is.

first witch in history

Witches are mentioned in several works of mythological literature, as well. Circe, who has frequently been referred to as the first witch in history of Greek mythology, was introduced to us in the story of The Odyssey, by Homer. Only in the middle of the fourteenth century did witchcraft hysteria fully take hold in Europe.

The Most Famous Witches Of History

1. Merga Bien

Moving onto the landscape of Germany, the next famous witch on our list has to be Merga Bien. She was perhaps the most well-known victim of the Fulda Witch Trials in 1603-05, who was found guilty of witchcraft.

Balthasar von Dernbach, a prince-bishop, ruled during the time. He was a devout Catholic who, upon taking office in 1602, launched a witchcraft investigation in the city. The Great Witch Trial, which spanned the three years he was in charge until his death in 1605, resulted in the execution of almost 200 people for practising witchcraft. Merga was actually among the initial casualties.

In actuality, Marga Bien was a rich German heiress. She allegedly killed her second husband and the children she had with him while attending Satanic Sabbaths. She was expecting a child when she was put to death.

2. Alice Kyteler

In Ireland, we find Alice Kyteler. According to existing records, she was the first convicted witch in Irish history. She was sentenced to death for poisoning her husband and offering animal sacrifices to Satan.

There are, however, no records of her after she mysteriously escaped persecution and departed the nation to England, or perhaps some other place.

Also Read- How Elizabeth Became Queen Of England – The Story Of King George Vi’s Death

3. Catherine Monvoisin — “La Voisin”

Catherine Monvoisin, a French jeweler’s wife, rose to fame as a result of the premonitions she would experience as a young child. She was a purported sorceress who also worked as a French fortune teller and was even hired to poison people.

She and her daughter were both detained on witchcraft charges. Later on, in 1680, they were executed at the stake at Place de Grieve, close to Paris.

4. Mother Shipton

In Knaresborough, Yorkshire, people continue to remember Mother Shipton. She is referred to as a witch, but she was better known for forecasting future events. Her real name was Ursula Sontheil.

As a child, she was malformed, like most witches in folklore, with twisted legs, a big head, and a crooked nose. She was so unattractive that the townspeople thought she was the Devil’s daughter and accused her of practicing witchcraft. She predicted various events that would occur in the future, and without much surprise, she was proved right.

Despite her poor appearance, she was regarded as England’s best clairvoyant and frequently contrasted and compared with Nostradamus, the most famous astrologer who lived in the same time period as her.

5. Isobel Gowdie

In 1662, a Scottish woman named Isobel Gowdie admitted to being a witch in the town of Auldearn, which is close to Nairn. Her confession was different, as she had admitted to the allegations against her voluntarily, without being tortured or pressured into it. Gowdie was a part of a coven, that participated in miraculous and inexplicable activities, like the transformation of animals.

6. Marie Laveau

Voodoo practitioner Marie Catherine Laveau was a well-known figure in New Orleans. According to various legends, Laveau possessed supernatural abilities to perform spiritual ceremonies, extend charitable gifts to the underprivileged and poor, and heal the sick.

Many visitors thought Laveau’s soul would grant wishes if they drew an “X” on her gravestone; her graveyard had to suffer numerous events of vandalism.  

7. Malin Matsdotter

Rumpare-Malin, also known as Malin Matsdotter or Mattsdotter, was a purported witch from Sweden. She is regarded as one of the few individuals in Sweden whose burned execution for witchcraft has been verified and validated.

The Torsaker Witch Trials marked the height of the Swedish Witch Hysteria, which ended up spreading to Stockholm with the Gävle-Boy in 1675, and persisted there until the year 1676, brought to an end when Matsdotter’s infamous execution took place.

8. Märet Jonsdotter

We cannot talk of Sweden Witch Trials without mentioning Märet Jonsdotter, one of the most famous witches of history in Sweden. She was the first person to be accused of witchcraft during the widespread Witch Craze in Sweden, making her one of the best-known victims of the sorcery persecutions in her nation.

9. Susannah Martin

As discussed prior, the Salem Witch Hunt is perhaps the most notable of most witch hunts that took place around the globe, and much like Bishop, Susannah Martin was another such woman who was accused of witchcraft. She lived in Amesbury, Massachusetts.

Despite the allegations put against her, there wasn’t a lot of evidence to back it up. Unfortunately, Martin was nonetheless found guilty and executed on July 19th, 1962  by hanging.

10. Margaret Jones

Between 1648 and 1693, over 80 people were charged with witchcraft throughout New England. Two males and thirteen women were put to death.

During this, Margaret Jones was one among them and she ended up being the first person to be executed in Massachusetts Bay Colony for witchcraft allegations.

Most Famous Witch In England — Agnes Waterhouse

Mother Waterhouse, also known as Agnes Waterhouse, was indeed the first woman to be accused, hanged, and executed for witchcraft in England, on 29th July 1566. She came from the Hatfield Peverel village and was a widow. Along with Elizabeth Francis and Joan Waterhouse, she was charged with accusations of practicing witchcraft.

Agnes Waterhouse, the famous witch in england, allegedly used black magic to kill her adversaries, bargain with the Devil, and curse other people. She had in her possession a cat named Satan, whom she would use for destroying and killing livestock of other people, or at times, even humans. Agnes Waterhouse is actually regarded by history as one of the most significant witches of the Tudor era.

Most Famous Witch In The World — The Salem Witches

The Salem Witch Trials have to be the most discussed witch trials in history. The most famous witch in the world can be traced back to the Salem Witch Trials.

most famous witch in the world

Technically, the first “witch” was executed in Salem Village on June 10th, 1692. According to the verdict, she would engage in “certain detestable arts called witchcraft and sorceries.” On this date in 1692, Bridget Bishop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony became the first person to be hanged and executed during the Salem Witch Trials.

Compared to previous defendants for witchcraft, Bishop had received the most accusations — which is what makes her so infamous and well-known in history. Hence, we can say she is one of the most famous witches of history.


These were the most famous witch in the world. It is quite important to realize the significance of such witch-hunts, occurring across the globe. What it meant for women of that time, and even some men. At times, people who were otherwise innocent and had no evidence to back up the allegations against them suffered. They were burnt or hanged. The implications of such mass hysteria prove to be a pivotal point in history, and by learning and knowing such history, we can understand how sometimes myths and reality have much in common and the lines get blurred.

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