Spotlight on some the most famous witches of Yorkshire
Casting their spells over a bubbling brew in a cauldron, they are the epitome of evil. They populate fairy tales – Hansel and Gretel and Snow White – cast curses on adults and predict dark days – Macbeth.
In reality, witches were often ordinary women of the village who attracted attention for their ability to heal. Around 2,000 people, most of them women, were put before the English courts for witchcraft between 1560 and 1706.
One believer in covens was Edward Fairfax, a cultivated man who lived in Knaresbrough. He believed a group of six women had bewitched his daughters. He accused them of witchcraft but they were cleared at York Assizes.
Many people from Yorkshire who were unfairly accused of witchcraft won compensation after they sued for defamation.
Here are some Yorkshire people whose names have been associated with witchcraft.
The likes of Mary Bateman have given witchcraft a bad name.
Born Mary Harker in around 1768, she graduated from a common thief and trickster to Yorkshire's only known female serial killer.
Her ruthlessness, greed and claims to have supernatural powers earned her the nickname 'The Yorkshire Witch'.