The Witchfinder General of Salem MA
I meant to blog about this each weekend in October, but I turned out to be so busy, I never got a chance to! As you may have heard, I am the official, city-recognized and licensed Witchfinder General of Salem, Massachusetts. And it turns out, it just may be my true calling in life! I had a great time putting tourist on trial for witchcraft up and down Essex St in what was essentially an audience participation-based street performance. I met lots of cool people and a number of alleged descendants of actual 1692 witch trial victims. There were a small handful of unpleasant moments but by far the experience was overwhelmingly positive and I hope they'll have me back next year.
Now, of course there was no Witchfinder General in Salem in 1692. That title was created by a man named Matthew Hopkins in the 1640's (listen to Spooky A S ep 40). Hopkins gave himself that title and was not recognized by any branch of parliament but that didn't stop him from trying/executing at least 200 accused men and women. Hey, consider this: Matthew Hopkins was not recognized by any form of government, but I was officially licensed by the city of Salem...I think that means I'm the FIRST official Witchfinder General in history!
So there was no Witchfinder General in Salem in 1692. In essence, the whole of Essex county became amateur witch hunters! But still, I thought it a good/impressive sounding title so I stole it!
If you're one of the people I put on trial, please hit me up via the "contact" tab above. I'd especial appreciate it if you have cool pictures to share...lord knows I posed for enough of them! Below are a few curtesy of myself and Fatima Elmi.
You can listen to me talk about witch hunting in Salem as well as discussing the life and crimes of the other Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins by clicking here!
Eric Dwinnells is a Boston-based actor, singer, and comic. He is also the host of the podcast Spooky Ass Shit.