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Witches of Westport: There’s a History Here
By Alice Shelton
WestportNow Community Correspondent
For the past several years, I’ve portrayed the Wheeler House Witch for the Westport Historical Society. It’s great fun handing out lollipops to the hundreds of trick-or-treaters in Westport’s annual Halloween Parade.
As I donned my witch’s costume for this years parade, I couldn’t help feeling thankful for the freedom to pretend to be a witch without fearing for my life. It wasn’t always so. Three centuries ago, the crime of witchcraft carried a death sentence.
In 1692, Mercy Disbrow of Compo, (part of present-day Westport) was one of six Fairfield County women accused of being witches. The accuser was a 17-year-old servant girl named Katherine Branch.
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