I Be a Witch: A Film about Salem Witch Trial Victim Ann Foster – Thou Shalt Not Suffer: The Witch Trial Podcast
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Meet Lori Prescott Hansen and Matthew C. S. Julander writer and co-director of the upcoming film I Be a Witch. The film tells the story of Lori’s ancestor, Salem witch trial victim Ann Foster of Andover Massachusetts. Ann’s story is told through visions and memories that Ann is experiencing during her last days in the Salem jail. Lori and Matthew reflect together on the making of the movie and the impactful lessons the history offers.
[00:00:10] Josh Hutchinson: Welcome to Thou Shalt Not Suffer: The Witch Trial Podcast, the show that asks why we hunt witches and how we can stop hunting witches. I'm Josh Hutchinson. [00:00:19] Sarah Jack: I'm Sarah Jack, and today we speak with Lori Prescott Hansen and Matthew C. S. Julander about their film, I Be a Witch. [00:00:28] Josh Hutchinson: The film tells the stories of Lori's ancestor, Salem Witch Trial victim Ann Foster of Andover. Based on actual events, Ann's story is told through visions and memories Ann is experiencing during her last days in the Salem jail. [00:00:43] Sarah Jack: Welcome Lori Prescott Hansen, Salem Witch Trial descendant, writer, and actress, and I Be a Witch film director, Matthew C. S. Julander. [00:00:52] Lori Prescott Hansen: I'm Lori Prescott Hanson. I always throw in the Prescott, because I live in a small town, and there's five Lori Hansons just here. My husband and I have been theater artists for a long time. We actually met in a production of King Lear. And we began to do professional storytelling quite a while ago. And we've been doing that ever since. He taught theater at the university here for 20 years, and I did a lot of directing of shows here and here in small town, Idaho as far as being a storyteller goes, there's not a lot of venues unless you create them yourself. And so that's what led me along the path of doing one person shows. And this one about Ann is the second one I've done. And so that's my background. Matthew, take it away. [00:01:47] Matthew C. S. Julander: So I'm in Utah. I went to film school at Brigham Young University and then zapped off to Los Angeles for close to 20 years of unsuccessful attempts to make my way into the film industry in earnest. So I worked on a few shows and made some corporate videos and just bounced around. And then eventually decided to move back to Utah. And at which point I met Sherry Julander, who I then married and she is the lady who co directed our movie. And also adapted the screenplay from Lori's one-woman show. And so the story goes that I don't know, two years ago Sherry comes to me and says, 'Hey, I have some friends who are putting on a one woman show up in Idaho,' so we drove for six hours and like about hour one of the drive, she said, Oh, by the way, it's a middle aged woman doing a one woman show. And she was worried that I was going to hate the whole thing and want to turn [00:02:43] Lori Prescott Hansen: it under wraps. [00:02:44] Matthew C. S. Julander: But so she waited until we got far enough along that I was stuck. So we went up and watched it, and the story is really compelling. I was just struck. And so I, as soon as the lights came up, I turned to Sherry and said, we, do you want to try and make a short film out of this? And thus was hatched our little plot here. What started as something that was going to be a 25 to 30 minute movie has ballooned up to a short feature length movie. And now we're on your podcast. [00:03:16] Lori Prescott Hansen: Sherry was actually a former student of my husband's. And so we had worked together. I've done plays with her in the past. And we had talked years ago about wanting to do something around Salem just because we've both always been intrigued by the subject. Then I found out later my ancestor was actually one of the accused women, and Sherry said that name sounds so familiar and she went back and checked her personal history and lo and behold we are both descendants of Ann Foster. We felt a real a real bond and a real kinship doing that. And something that we meandered around years ago finally became a reality. [00:03:58] Josh Hutchinson: Wow. What's it like to find out that your friend is also your cousin? [00:04:03] Lori Prescott Hansen: It couldn't have happened to a nicer person. I love her. I love her to death. And she is an amazing actor as well as screenwriter, and she and Matthew are a force together to be reckoned with, as far as film production. We're really excited that they joined on. [00:04:23] Josh Hutchinson: Yeah, Sarah and I also have a common Salem ancestor. We started doing this show, and then found out that we're cousins. [00:04:31] Lori Prescott Hansen: Really? [00:04:33] Josh Hutchinson: Yeah, we're both from Mary Esty. [00:04:36] Lori Prescott Hansen: Oh, wow. [00:04:38] Josh Hutchinson: yes. [00:04:39] Lori Prescott Hansen: Yeah. You hear all these names and there's so many stories. So many stories. Yeah. [00:04:48] Sarah Jack: Do you wanna tell us about Ann Foster's story? [00:04:52] Lori Prescott Hansen: My son called me one day. He's known as a storyteller. I've always been drawn to crone figures, to wise women, to that sort of thing. And jokingly have always said I'm part witch. But he called me one day and said, "did you know that you are related to an accused witch of Salem?" And it just floored me. And I, cause I had no idea. So I went back and he showed me the timeline, the link from grandmother to grandmother. And she's my 11th great grandmother. And so I began to just read into her life, and the more I read, the more compelled I was and because her story is so unique and uniquely tragic, because of the elements in her life that it just it just pulled me in, and I wanted to do something about and for this woman that I felt a real kinship to. So that's the kernel of the beginning of it for me and my appeal to Ann, because like I say, even if she weren't a relation, her story is so compelling, because it's very unique in its own right. Go for it, Matthew. What was it about Ann that sucked you in as a non relation? [00:06:14] Matthew C. S. Julander: Something that I found striking about this whole process is how much of just the dialogue in our movie is pulled straight from like court reports. This is apparently what, at least whoever was writing it down, got, is the exact things that people were saying. And so that makes it very it does make it very personal. And you're saying, 'oh my gosh, this isn't just a story, this isn't the Avengers, this is like a real person that all this stuff happened to.' So as we set about to make a movie of it, in large part we just followed what we saw Lori when she put on the one woman show, but we, we treated it with a certain degree of gravity or reverence or care, because we wanted to keep it a true story. We wanted to keep it true to what, as far as we can tell, Ann Foster might've really felt. I have a feeling that Lori might be, I don't know, a feistier person than Ann was? Because I'm told that at the time of, yeah, maybe Ann was feistier in her younger years, but at the time of her incarceration, she'd gotten on in years and she was quite feeble. [00:07:20] Lori Prescott Hansen: No one will ever accuse me of being feeble. [00:07:23] Matthew C. S. Julander: But on the other hand, just from the life that she led and some of the things that she did that were contrary to what would have been culturally accepted, especially since being culturally accepted was, I think it was a much bigger deal for the Puritans in New England. I think she probably was a feisty lady. She probably was a little bit of a rebellious lady. And maybe she was forced to be that way just because she married a guy who was way too old for her and defied some expectations. So in any case, it was really interesting being able to look into the life of this very real person and have some of the words that she came up with when she was in the trial, when she was giving her confession and just trying to not just see through that window, but try and open that window up to other people so they could see into it as well. [00:08:14] Josh Hutchinson: And so this began as a solo project, a one person play, and then evolved from there. What can you tell us about the one woman play? [00:08:27] Lori Prescott Hansen: When I began writing this whole thing, I began it through a storytelling approach. I was going to tell her story third person. And I actually wrote it out, and I began reading it to my husband, and I realized it was so boring, and it sounded like a book report. And so I played around with combinations of narration and then character, and that became really singsongy back and forth and he finally said one day, you just need to write it as a play. And so I did. I take on other voices throughout the script but not a lot. It's mostly her own voice, her own words. My creation, but it's through her voice. And yeah, it was really well received where I've done it. I've only really done it a handful of times. But the thing that really turned the corner for me on writing it was my husband again, who is also a playwright, said to me one day, 'you're writing it like you're writing about a woman who knows she's going to die. And he said, that's not interesting. You should be writing about a woman who is fighting to live.' And that was like a huge light bulb moment for me, and I realized he was exactly right, and that's when the writing really began to flow. And like I say, it was really well received. I was really very proud of it. When Sherry and Matthew came up and saw it and they talked to us about it directly after the show, honestly, I feel such a, not ownership, but such a, this is my thing. And I was really afraid to turn what I had envisioned and done over to someone else. And if it hadn't been that it was Matthew and Sherry, I may never have said, 'okay, you can take this and do it you want with it.' But I did. And I couldn't have been more happy. They were true to Ann. They were true to her story. They were true to how I envisioned the show, and they only heightened it with a full cast and fleshed out dialogue and lots of scenes in the jail. And anyway, so that was the metamorphosis of it for me. [00:10:57] Sarah Jack: Is there anything about her history, the story, that you want to share today? [00:11:03] Matthew C. S. Julander: I can give you like a slight overview of what what the story is about. So Ann Foster was in Andover. She was not among the first people that were accused or tried for witchcraft. Her story started because there was a man in her town. So Joseph Ballard's wife was ill and he thought maybe it was witchcraft. He had heard about all these people getting accused and convicted of witchcraft in Salem, so he went down to Salem and grabbed some of the teenagers who had been accusing people and brought them back up to Andover. And they spotted Ann Foster and accused her of being a witch. And so then she was dragged in and eventually tried, convicted, and set up in the the Salem jail. We basically tell that story and something that's interesting. This is maybe not so much about Ann's story, but it's more about how this, the way that we tell the story is like structured. When Lori wrote this script, she wasn't following like the formulaic stuff that they use for say, like writing screenplays. Whereas the story that we told it's almost as if the inciting moment happens before the story starts. And it happens like in a flashback because the whole story is told from Ann Foster's perspective in the Salem jail. And the question that we're trying to put into the minds of the audience right out of the gate is, 'okay how did she get here? What happened? How did this madness ensue?' And then she just tells the whole story. She goes back to the whole Salem witch like craziness, to her earlier life. She talks about how she was married to a man who was quite a bit older than she was. She talked about her children. She talks about something that happens, one of the terrible events that happens to one of her children, which maybe I don't want to reveal yet, because you have to watch the movie. All these things could have had an influence on why the people of the time thought, 'oh, yeah, that makes sense that Ann Foster would be a witch.' [00:13:00] Lori Prescott Hansen: Because when you're already the other, you're a sitting duck. [00:13:03] Matthew C. S. Julander: She was already like an easy target for the accusations. I think that everybody who does a Salem witch trial story or tries to tell the story, the central question is, 'how did this happen?' It's always, 'how did this happen? How did these people get to the point where they're actually executed people for a thing that nowadays we see is just like being a fiction, just completely made up? And so we tried to get in there, too. And because we have Ann's personal story. And some of the things that she said, we have some of her words, we can say, okay, this is at least the perspective of one person, how she was able to, how she sees it ,why she was dragged into it. One of the striking things for me is that Ann Foster herself, in our dialogue, she says, 'Oh, I believe there's witches. I'd just be not one of them.' That's not the exact quote, but it's close. So it's oh yeah, everybody believed that it was real. But everyone also knew about I'm not one, though. We even got into the idea that some people maybe started toying with the idea that, 'am I a witch? Maybe I've had bad thoughts about this person or that person. Maybe I projected some evil onto that person. Maybe that's some witchcraft. Maybe I'm somehow involved.' And that's the sort of thing that allowed it to roll. [00:14:21] Lori Prescott Hansen: That's one Ann's lines in it is, 'can one be a witch and not know it?' Which is an interesting question. The most poignant question to me that we raise in the script is a line of Ann's. She's in jail. She's been there quite a long time. And she says, 'so what do you do with a broken, old witch?' No one's paying for her to get out, whether they could or chose not to, we really don't know. She's there for the duration until she dies [00:14:52] Matthew C. S. Julander: Spoiler alert. [00:14:54] Lori Prescott Hansen: So what do you do with people like this that are the throwaways? Even though your sentence has been stayed, you're still a convicted witch. That's probably the most poignant question to me in the film is 'what do you do with a broken, old witch?' [00:15:12] Matthew C. S. Julander: And it's maybe not a question that we answer in great detail. It's something that the audience is left to think about for themselves. Because since we stay in Ann's, in her perspective, in her mind the whole time, it's yeah, we don't know why her son Andrew never showed up to pay the jailer's fees. [00:15:30] Lori Prescott Hansen: Abraham is the one that paid to take her body. They paid to retrieve her body. They did not pay to have, you had to pay for everything. You had to pay for your straw. You had to pay for your chains. You had to pay for your food or water, anything. And we don't know if they didn't have the money to pay her way out or whether they chose not to. We know they did not sign the petition that the town raised when everyone had decided enough was enough. Whether they didn't want to bring more attention to her story or there's just so many questions that we don't have answers to. [00:16:07] Matthew C. S. Julander: So we asked the questions. [00:16:09] Lori Prescott Hansen: We asked the questions, and we did take a bit of a slant on things, because we realized if we're going to do this project, we have to make choices. We can't just have the whole thing be ambivalent. We have to make some choices. I hope they were the right ones, but we'll see. [00:16:28] Sarah Jack: Yeah, I think the creative piece of telling the story is an essential part. I'm really looking forward to seeing what you guys have put together. [00:16:38] Matthew C. S. Julander: So are we! [00:16:40] Lori Prescott Hansen: Me too. We actually just did our first submission of it. [00:16:45] Matthew C. S. Julander: That's a rough cut. [00:16:47] Lori Prescott Hansen: It's this close to being done, but we were able to slip it in on a deadline that was important to us. Yeah, it's very close. We actually, the four of us traveled three weeks ago? Four weeks ago? We actually flew out to Andover and Salem and met with some people out there and particularly in Andover we met with a woman that works at the North Church, which is the congregation Ann would have been part of. We met with the caretaker of the cemetery on the South side of Andover. We met with Jill Christiansen from the Salem Witch Museum, and she was very, very helpful and very kind. And in fact, all of them were, and it just, we really hope to be able to do a screening in, I would really prefer Andover to Salem, because that's where it began, and that's where it would be full circle. So anyway, we've talked to a few people and nothing's set in stone, but we're excited, excited. [00:17:58] Josh Hutchinson: A lot of people don't realize the involvement of Andover, even though Andover had more accused than Salem did. [00:18:10] Lori Prescott Hansen: And Martha Carrier was from Andover. It's almost treated as an afterthought in some ways to Salem, and I guess that's probably because of the hype. And I think there are many people in Andover that feel those strong, still connections to their history. [00:18:30] Matthew C. S. Julander: It's striking as we went to the graveyard at the South church in Andover and then the other, the cemetery it's up closer to the North Church. When we went to those places and we looked at gravestones, I was struck that very often the people who were buried in, the official graveyard, the official cemetery, are what I would now consider the villains of this story, lots of the judges, but none of the people who were accused of witchcraft and then who would not cop to it. The ones who would never give up and say yes, I'm a witch. The ones who actually maintain their integrity, those are the ones that don't get to be buried there. And, it's not even sure where many of them any of them, are buried. Because even the ones that were officially hanged, it's they have a, there's a Walgreens. Up the street from, that's where the which memorial is it? [00:19:23] Josh Hutchinson: That's the Proctor's Ledge, [00:19:25] Matthew C. S. Julander: the proctor's ledge. So they have a sense of, we think they must be buried here or here, but it's not really known. [00:19:33] Sarah Jack: It's the exact situation in Connecticut with their victims and the, the founders that ran the witch trials and those kind of things. Their statues are there honoring the history, the impact of their history. And we worked on an exoneration project for the Connecticut victims last year, and the state did pass a bill apologizing to the 34 indicted, 11 hanged. Now we're working on. State memorial for the victims and one of the things that we're up against is making room for these accused because there's already, all the space is taken by those who have already been buried and honored and, [00:20:22] Josh Hutchinson: in a lot of cases are the accusers. [00:20:24] Sarah Jack: They are the accusers. When you started talking about that, I'm like, oh my goodness, there's some other ancient burial grounds in New England, it's the same situation. [00:20:32] Lori Prescott Hansen: And just following your Facebook posts and that, I realized that the Connecticut thing has been a passion project for you a labor of love, and, [00:20:43] Sarah Jack: Yeah. It was interesting because there were local Connecticut residents and advocates and descendants who, for many years, have tried to get an acknowledgment. And then last year when North Andover was working on Elizabeth Johnson Jr. 's exoneration. It was happening during the 375th anniversary of the hanging of Alice Young who was the first hanged in Connecticut and it just seemed so unfair that nobody knows her name. She has not been apologized to, and it really just fired a bunch of us up and everything, it was just the right timing. The politicians there were ready to make an attempt, and so this project, which we've talked quite a bit about in several episodes, it was a passion, and we all came together and found a route to that apology. [00:21:37] Lori Prescott Hansen: Wow. [00:21:39] Sarah Jack: But now they need a memorial. There's a few individual bricks in some of the local towns honoring some specific victims, but there's nothing. Nothing, there's no monument for the history, so that's what's next. We'll see how that unfolds. [00:21:59] Lori Prescott Hansen: Yeah. Because people don't even really think of Connecticut. It's that Salem story, no, it was all over. Yeah. Connecticut was earlier than Salem and Massachusetts, wasn't it? [00:22:13] Josh Hutchinson: It, yes, it began much earlier, started in 1647, so 45 years before. But Andover also, there's not, a specific site to go to in Andover to remember the victims from there. And there were, what was it? 45 or 48 people accused from Andover? Very high number. And there's nothing there, there's no plaque, there's no statue, there's no wall or benches or [00:22:52] Matthew C. S. Julander: Something that when we set out to make this movie, making movies can be a pretty A large undertaking. Although this movie was quite small by comparison to some. We shot the entire thing in a 20 by 30 garage. So even though it is a period piece, we built a couple of sets. So we have a prison set that is meant to look very realistic, and we had a Foster home set that ended up looking very realistic over the course of the shoot. The first scenes that we did in that, we only had two walls of that set, but later on, we built out the whole thing. In any Case it takes over your life for a while, because you end up realizing, oh, it's I'm building a house. There's something where you have to decide that you want to go through all the trouble, right? You have to tell yourself this is worth it. And so as we've been talking about the people who are past and the people who went through this incredibly unjust situation, and some of them lost their lives I, I was thinking, eh, whether you believe in an afterlife or not, I would think that those people, maybe it doesn't matter what we think of them now, right? If you don't believe in an afterlife, then clearly they don't care. If you do believe in an afterlife, they might be busy with something else. And so it's maybe not so much for them that we do these memorials and that we try to try to set things right. It might be more for us. And so that's the thought that I had when we were making this film is, 'I want this film to be something that shows how that happened back then.' In that sense, that those who don't learn from history will repeat it. If you do learn from history, hopefully you grow. And yeah. As we were making the film, I was always trying to think, okay, how is this going to affect people? How can we show people something that hopefully makes them into better people? And the crazy thing about the whole witchcraft trial fervor that ran across Europe and then America in many cases, it wasn't as if there was some ulterior motive. But a lot of times it was just, I don't know, the arrogance of the judges. The arrogance of the people in their religion thinking that they were infallible. It was just, things got out of hand, and people's emotions were driven to a certain direction and there was no one to say, 'whoa, let's calm down. Let's think about this.' And so it seems like that is an informative lesson for us right now. And maybe always, everybody always likes to say, 'Oh, in our time, things are so tough.' And it's so similar to now. And you could say that about now, you could say that about probably any epic in the Earth's history as well. In any case, it seems like it's a useful story for us to look at and say, 'Hey, do I have any prejudices? Do I have any arrogance? Do I have any beliefs that are untested that I'm so sure about that I would do something that might turn out to be reprehensible?' And I hopefully the movie and these stories, and even when we talk about the monuments and trying to call attention to it, so like Alice Young that nobody's ever heard of. If we can call attention to these people and say, 'look, these stories all happened,' hopefully that'll affect us now and say, 'okay I don't want to create another story for somebody 375 years from now to look back at and go,' [00:26:06] Josh Hutchinson: And Ann Foster's story is so compelling because of so many reasons. You alluded to earlier something that happens to one of her daughters before the trials. And then there are things that happen to her family during the trials. [00:26:27] Lori Prescott Hansen: Ann, humble, meek, fragile, old Ann was very well known, because of her family and what had happened in it. Everyone knew Ann Foster's history. She was very ripe for the picking. Yeah. [00:26:45] Matthew C. S. Julander: I think that's actually an interesting thing about the story. So maybe most people's entrance into their understanding of the Salem Witch Trials is the Crucible. That seems to be the most famous story that's been told. But the Crucible sets it portrays John Proctor and is it Elizabeth Proctor? They're portrayed as having John had an affair, right? He's portrayed as having this sin that he committed. Ann is interesting in that there's really no sin for her, but there is this circle of bad things that have happened, things that, okay, your son in law is a really bad guy though and maybe there's a little impropriety with this and maybe like your granddaughter is a bit of a mess. She's not being very Puritan. There was things that made it look like she could be looked at as being bad somehow. I think that's a really important thing to look at in the story. If I were to tell another story from the witch trials, I maybe would want to do one about Rebecca Nurse, because she's theoretically like the perfect Puritan, just angelic in every way. But the idea that I'm going at is some of these people who got roped up in this, they really were unimpeachable. I guess you can't say they were above reproach. They would probably, had their, personal interactions where they might get mad at somebody or do something that people would remember and think of them as having been sinful or wicked or something. They really were just good people, just fairly honest, fairly good. People like hopefully you and me. [00:28:10] Lori Prescott Hansen: And John Proctor himself, the same thing that, historically there was not an affair or anything like that. That was Arthur Miller's slant on it that pulled us all in. John Proctor was unique in that he didn't buy it, and he decided he was going to beat the witchcraft out of, was there, was it Mary Warren? And because he didn't go along with it, he was pegged. The other thing that was interesting about Ann, too, with Joseph Ballard is that was the first time anyone had gone to Salem and literally recruited these girls and brought them back to Andover. And then they singled out Ann, who they already were aware of who she was, everyone was, but that was interesting to me, the lengths that he went to to find a witch, to literally go recruit the girls and bring them up to Andover from Salem. [00:29:08] Josh Hutchinson: That was a major turning point in the course of the witch hunt, bringing them to Andover, starting that whole, it just snowballed after that, Andover, you had Martha Carrier accused previously to that, but it was limited to her. And then that just opened the floodgates, and they had the mass touch test where they brought everybody in and had the afflicted people touch them to see if that cured them. The touch test, basically the belief was that when a witch used their magic against their victim they're transferring this effluvia, this kind of substance from the witch to the victim, and then on contact, the substance would go back from the victim into the witch. [00:30:09] Lori Prescott Hansen: A literal substance. [00:30:11] Josh Hutchinson: Yeah, a literal substance that they could... Yeah, so they could beam at you through the evil eye or they could get you with it, an image of you, there was, there were poppets and image magic and spells and curses. So they had a few ways to strike at you. But there were ways to cure. You just had to get really close to the person you thought had bewitched you. [00:30:40] Matthew C. S. Julander: So what the part about it that was backwards is they would, they would blindfold or somehow make it so that the witch was unaware of who was touching them, but they would let the person, the afflicted, still be able to see. So when they did these touch tests, the afflicted person would come in, they'd know exactly who they were touching, so if they like, oh, it's Ann Foster is the one we're accusing. When I touch Ann Foster, I'm suddenly going to not be afflicted anymore, right? So they could clearly fake it. Whereas, Ann Foster didn't know who was touching her, right? So the idea was, 'we don't trust the witches, so we have to blindfold them. But clearly our accusers are perfectly honest, good people, so we don't have to blindfold them.' And that's just you guys are very bad at interrogation. It never occurred to you that maybe the accusers are not being honest. If we're doing the test, either they're being honest or they're, it's one of the possibilities that we should be testing for. And we can, we just blindfold everybody. [00:31:30] Josh Hutchinson: Or even if they truly believed that the person was bewitching them, they would behave differently around the person. They buy into this stuff, they first, they see that person, they fall into one of their fits, then they touch the person believing that's going to cure them, and the fit suddenly stops. [00:31:54] Lori Prescott Hansen: We have tried with the film to be as accurate as we know and as we can be. We all felt, I think, a real sense of obligation to do that. We want it to be true to her story. It's sensational enough on its own. We didn't need to hype it up even more than her story already is. To me, it may be the most compelling of that era, her story, because of so much, but I'm also biased. [00:32:23] Matthew C. S. Julander: We've talked about how in Andover, it was like a much bigger problem. It was, it's really where it got it blew up more. I said something that maybe for the listeners, it'd be nice to clarify. I said maybe it was because of Ann. So Ann Foster apparently is the first one to have ever said that there were 300 some odd. 307, oddly specific, but maybe she knew that would, made the story sound more authentic. She said there were some 307 witches in our county and nobody had ever put a big number on it like that. And so maybe when she said that, everybody was like, and so then the authorities are like, 'okay buckle on your swords, boys. We got to go pick up some more people,' or something like that. [00:33:06] Josh Hutchinson: That's also something that makes her confession really interesting, and it is a big turning point, again, in the witch hunt, because, early on, Tituba says there's nine witches, so they're looking for nine people, but then the number just keeps growing, and then it leaps with Ann Foster to this 300 some people, and yeah, they really were looking under every stone, trying to find a witch in Andover. [00:33:40] Lori Prescott Hansen: Was she the first one, I can't remember, was she the first one in her confession that talked about flying on a stick, or had someone done that before her? [00:33:49] Josh Hutchinson: Tituba had talked about it. [00:33:54] Lori Prescott Hansen: and even that she had cheese in her pocket, which I thought was not funny, but like that's really specific. And you do get the idea, too, the question is raised, she was old, she was feeble, she was frail. Did she start to believe these things? Was her mind beginning to wander? Was she confessing to save herself and members of her family, to take it on herself? We don't know all those things, but they're all really compelling questions. [00:34:27] Josh Hutchinson: And we do know that people, as you mentioned earlier, were thinking, 'could I be a witch and not know it?' Was a theme that was going through the Andover Confessions, [00:34:41] Lori Prescott Hansen: Right. [00:34:42] Josh Hutchinson: People questioning themselves, could I have committed some sin that turned me over to the devil? And could I unwittingly be causing these people harm? Yeah, people were truly confused about it. [00:34:59] Lori Prescott Hansen: It's interesting too, to me, that Ann called out Martha Carrier. She wasn't guiltless in accusing others. In her mind, Martha Carrier is already in prison, so I'm not doing any additional harm. You could spend years delving into all of this and never get to complete answers. [00:35:23] Matthew C. S. Julander: I feel like one of the things when we're trying to figure out how it all happened is this idea of like they had competing virtues. Like one of the virtues was you had to have faith and believe. And another virtue was you had to have integrity and be honest. And those were competing virtues in the sense that say with John Proctor, who thought that all the witch stuff was a bunch of hubbub. And Lori said he tried to beat it out of his servant. He's, ' I'll show you, say that you've sensed witches, whack whack, do you still sense witches? Nope!' For that, for Proctor to do that, it's like he's saying, 'okay, so witches, that's a bunch of nonsense,' but witches are in the Bible and witches are something that we all believe is part of, it's tied to the religion. And so is John Proctor like showing a lack of faith and a lack of belief? That means John Proctor is not virtuous. But on the other hand, John Proctor went to his execution and wouldn't say that he was a witch. He would, he never I don't want to say admitted because that suggests that he actually was. He never copped to it, right? And so in that sense, he had the other virtue of the integrity. So these people who were trying to say, 'maybe I am a witch. Can I be a witch and not know it?' That's their attempt to make those two competing virtues work together. I'm still going to believe, but I don't want to lie. It's a form of like cognitive dissonance for them, but like that's an interesting and I guess kind of awful way that they had to try to do the mental gymnastics to make it so they could keep all their virtues. [00:36:52] Josh Hutchinson: That's a really good analysis. And there was so much going on in Andover contributing to the confessions. Really most of the people in Andover did ultimately confess, and they were being pressured by their own families to do so, because there was a rumor going around that if you confessed, you'd be spared. [00:37:17] Lori Prescott Hansen: be forgiven. You were capable of being forgiven or of repenting. [00:37:22] Josh Hutchinson: Unfortunately, they did end up convicting a number of people who confessed, but fortunately for them it was late enough in the game that they were never actually executed. But that rumor was going around. And then there was the whole, 'could I be one and not know it? Everybody's telling me I am a witch. If the magistrate is telling you you're a witch, and he's a reliable guy and trusted and looked up to, and maybe you start believing him instead of yourself. [00:37:58] Lori Prescott Hansen: And if you look at that in terms of Ann, she had so much tragedy in her life that maybe this has happened because I am this and she's old and she's feeble and she's worn down and she's seen so much in her family that's just remarkable. I'm sure she was just, in some ways, just done. [00:38:21] Matthew C. S. Julander: I do wonder how she came up with all the details that she came up with. Like the bird that came black and left white, or the dog, the stick, the cheese in the pockets. There were so many like interesting little tidbits. It's is it because she was in that kind of feeble place and her mind was just making things up now and she was in fever dream mode? Or was she like knowingly trying to protect her family and she's, this is the best way to do it. I've seen enough lying. I if she had, but I'm going to do details with the lies so they seem more. [00:38:52] Lori Prescott Hansen: And the details of life that are given extra magical or whatever stories to explain them. Ann had a bad leg or a bad hip. She says it's because she fell off the stick. So anyway, just so many things that make it. It's interesting and sad and educational that, if we can learn the lessons that we ought to learn, we'd be better off for our own futures. [00:39:23] Matthew C. S. Julander: Somebody was talking about how dense those forests are and imagine them without electric lighting, like how there'd be so little that you could see and how everything would be so close. There was the dangers of getting diseases. There was plenty to be afraid of that you couldn't see and wouldn't know was coming, right? And that seems like that also made it rife for people to work up in stories of things and to believe in things that maybe weren't there. It's a really strange place. [00:39:53] Lori Prescott Hansen: New England is, it's to me a magical place. It's beautiful. It's picturesque. The houses are amazing. I love the styles and all that. I love the toll roads, but it's interesting that such a tragic thing could take place in such a beautiful place. And that's, that happens everywhere, it can happen anywhere. And it was the frontier, particularly Andover. It was the frontier. [00:40:22] Josh Hutchinson: I've camped in the forest near Andover. There's a Harold Parker State Forest right there. And I spent about 10 days, I believe, in the woods right there. And even today, the woods are so thick that if you're out on one of those hiking trails, it doesn't take long to not have roads and sounds from roads and so just imagining back then, and coming from England where it's a little more crowded and there'd be some more lights to this very wilderness. It's so hauntingly frightening. You actually have wolves and bears and things that they don't have in England anymore. Yeah, it's just a spooky environment, but so beautiful. [00:41:16] Lori Prescott Hansen: beautiful. [00:41:18] Sarah Jack: At this stage with your project, what is it that you need from listeners, from supporters? [00:41:25] Lori Prescott Hansen: We need viewers. Yeah. And exposure. Exposure. That's why we appreciate this podcast so much because it's huge. It's a huge benefit to us. So we need energy. [00:41:39] Matthew C. S. Julander: We are going to try to put it into festivals, and as we do, we'll post about it on our Facebook page and on our website so that anybody who's interested in seeing the film can go see it. So one thing would be great for us is if you go search for I Be a Witch on Facebook and follow us there. Or you can go to ibeawitch. com, bookmark that, and go back to it. You can also go to ibeawitch. com and find your way to the Facebook group from there. And that way, anybody who's interested in the film can keep track of, like, where it ends up, so where they can see it. And that, then, as we start, rolling it out and showing it in different places, the exposure would be great. If you, if... If you want to help us with the film, you can, "Hey, they just said they're going to be in this film festival in North Carolina. Everybody who wants to go see it in North Carolina." And that, that, that'd be helpful for us. Eventually, we hope to get it onto a streaming platform. And when we do that, of course, we'll tell everybody where that is. And then it's just a matter of, yeah, tell your friends, go watch the movie. [00:42:38] Sarah Jack: And right now they can watch the preview, [00:42:40] Lori Prescott Hansen: They can. You can watch the trailer. [00:42:42] Matthew C. S. Julander: The trailer's on ibeawitch. com. [00:42:44] Lori Prescott Hansen: The trailer, I have to say. I'm tickled with it. [00:42:48] Josh Hutchinson: We'll have a link to that in the show description to both the Facebook and the website. And as you start to have showings, we'll definitely share that on our social media to help get the word out. It's something that our listeners are going to be interested in. We'll definitely be helping promote that as we can. [00:43:12] Sarah Jack: And now for a minute with Mary. [00:43:14] Mary Louise Bingham: Alice Markham Cantor, a freelance writer and a fact checker for the New York Magazine. She is creating a database regarding worldwide witch hunts. Alice uses her writing skills by weaving the common threads of witch hunts from the 1300s to the current day. Alice introduced me to the story of Iquo Edet Iyo, a prosperous woman looked on with suspicion for years who was accused of using black magic to cause a motorcycle accident at Cross River State, Nigeria. As a result, Iquo was brutally murdered in October of 2022. Alice reminded me that there are over 1,000 innocent people killed due to ongoing deadly witch hunts every year. I encourage the listeners to read Alice's story titled, "Social Turmoil Has Increased Witch Hunts Historically" on Portside.Org. Check out her profile on theinternationalnetwork.org. Thank you, Alice Markham Cantor, you are one powerful advocate. [00:44:17] Sarah Jack: Thank you, Mary. [00:44:22] Josh Hutchinson: Here's Sarah with End Witch Hunts News. [00:44:25] Sarah Jack: End Witch Hunts urges collective action to end witch hunting practices worldwide. At End Witch Hunts, our commitment is unwavering to actively engage in educating and advocating for the cessation of witch hunting practice. We can do this through the power of collective action. Thank you for already supporting our projects by listening to and sharing our podcast episodes. If you'd like to further contribute, please consider a financial contribution. Your financial support empowers us to continue our education and advocacy efforts. As the holiday season approaches, we invite you to keep End Witch Hunts in mind when considering your charitable gifts. We have donate buttons on our websites. Our latest historical justice initiative, the Massachusetts Witch Hunt Justice Project, is dedicated to securing formal exoneration for those wrongfully convicted as witches in Boston. We are also seeking a formal apology for all documented victims of the Massachusetts Colony Witch Trials. Each of these individuals has a story of innocence, Injustice and life altering consequences due to false accusations. You can make a difference immediately by signing and sharing the petition. Do so now at change.org/witchtrials. If you live in Massachusetts, you can share this project with your legislative representatives and ask them to propose the amendment. If you are a voting member of the Massachusetts General Court, we need you to lead or collaborate on this amendment effort now. Please consider reaching out to the project so that we can support you as you propose or support such an amendment. Please take action, and let's work together to help close a chapter of American history that calls out to us all for answers. Commemorating Goody Glover Day, November 16th. On this day of witch trial memorialization in Boston, we want to highlight the significance of November 16th, proclaimed as Goody Glover Day by the Boston City Council in 1988. Goody Glover, an Irish Catholic widow, was falsely accused, convicted, and hanged for witchcraft on this date in 1688. We invite you to commemorate Goody Glover Day by visiting her memorial plaque at the parish of Our Lady of Victories. The memorial plaque recounts the tragic tale of Ann Glover, emphasizing her unwavering commitment to the Catholic faith. You may not be able to visit the memorial plaque, but you are able to pay tribute through various means, including social media discussions, coffee shop conversations, educational programs, and moments of reflection. Your support is instrumental in driving positive change and bringing an end to the dark history of witch hunting practices. For more information and to contribute, visit endwitchhunts. org. [00:46:58] Josh Hutchinson: Thank you, Sarah. [00:47:01] Sarah Jack: You're welcome. [00:47:02] Josh Hutchinson: And thank you for listening to Thou Shalt Not Suffer: The Witch Trial Podcast. [00:47:07] Sarah Jack: Join us next week. [00:47:09] Josh Hutchinson: Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. [00:47:13] Sarah Jack: Visit us at thoushaltnotsuffer.com. [00:47:16] Josh Hutchinson: Remember to tell your friends about the show. [00:47:19] Sarah Jack: Support our efforts to end witch hunts. Visit endwitchhunts.org to learn more. [00:47:24] Josh Hutchinson: Have a great today and a beautiful tomorrow.