Home Today's Reason to Drink August 19: Burn, Witch, Burn Day.

August 19: Burn, Witch, Burn Day.


It’s Burn, Witch, Burn Day. So-called because on this day in 1692, a large number of accused and convicted “witches” were either burned at the stake or hung in Salem, Mass. Now, pop culture usually depicts those witches as elderly women with perhaps too many cats, but a lot of them were youngish, and some of them were dudes, including a minister who owed the wrong guy a large amount of money. It didn’t take much to earn a place on the pyre, you just had to get in a property dispute or even a general argument with a person with a loud voice and good standing in the community. Something witches were also often accused of, aside from midnight pacts with the Devil and general bewitchery, was making a batch of beer go bad. Brewers of the day, rather than blame themselves for screwing up the wort, would gravely announce, “Some witch hexed the batch!” Next thing you know, the nearest old lady with too many cats was getting fast-roasted on a stack of wood. 

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