New Hampshire’s Only Convicted Witch is Memorialized in Hampton

I know we all know the history of Salem, Massachusetts, and it's a popular tourist destination. But did you know that many, many years before the Salem Witch trials, the residents of New Hampshire tried a Eunice “Goody” Cole for witchcraft not once, but three times?

According to atlasobscura.com, if you want to see the origins of the witch trials in New England, you should head on over to Hampton, New Hampshire.

Was Goody Cole a Witch?

Was Eunice “Goody” Cole a witch or was she just an old-fashioned version of the "get off my lawn" guy?

Apparently, she was a cranky old woman, and anytime something bad happened in Hampton, the residents blamed her for associating with the devil, atlasobscura.com stated.

Did your cow die? Goody Cole must have made it happen. Did your crops fail? Goody Cole must have made it happen.

The town started putting her on trial for witchcraft back in 1656 and continued doing so, according to atlasobscura.com.  She was convicted, whipped, imprisoned, and eventually stripped of her citizenship, the article stated, but she was not sentenced to death.

As she aged, local residents made sure she had food and helped her with daily living but did it with fear, atlasobscura.com noted.

New Hampshire Witch was a Legend

When Goody Cole finally passed away in 1680, the residents of Hampton were still reportedly frightened of her.

They drove a stake through her heart and buried her in a shallow grave on her property and attached a horseshoe to prevent her from any further cursing of the town from beyond the grave, according to atlasobscura.com. The town allegedly always felt a bit of guilt for treating her that way.

Back in 1938 (it took long enough) the residents used her legend to attract tourists to the area or perhaps they really felt bad for how their ancestors treated her, according to atlasobscura.com.

Her court documents were burned, and the ashes of those documents were to be buried on her property, and the town planned to erect a memorial stone in her memory, according to atlasobscura.com. But maybe Goody Cole was angered by this because a hurricane hit the area that year and the stone was not erected until 1963, the article stated.

The ashes of her court documents are in the Tuck Museum, which is closed, but you can still see the memorial stone, which looks like a blob of a boulder with a plaque honoring her memory.

If you want to check it out, go through Founders Park in Hampton, New Hampshire, and check it out, according to atlasobscura.com.

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