University of Virginia Library

A Fourth Curiositie.

IV. 'Tis a thousand pitties, that we should permit our Eyes to be so Blood-shot with passions, as to loose the sight of many wonderful Things, wherein the Wisdom and Justice of God, would be Glorify'd. Some of those Things, are the frequent Apparitions of Ghosts, whereby many Old Murders among us, come to be considered. And, among many Instances of this kind, I will single out one, which concerned a poor man,


lately Prest unto Death, because of his Refusing to Plead for his Life.[145] I shall make an Extract of a Letter, which was written to my Honourable Friend, Samuel Sewal, Esq.,[146] by Mr. Putman,[147] to this purpose;

The Last Night my Daughter Ann was grievously Tormented by Witches, Threatning that she should be Pressed to Death, before Giles Cory. But thro' the Goodness of a Gracious God, she had at last a little Respite. Whereupon there appeared unto her (she said) a man in a Winding Sheet; who told her that Giles Cory had Murdered him, by Pressing him to Death with his Feet; but that the Devil there appeared unto him, and Covenanted with him, and promised him, He should not be Hanged. The Apparition said, God Hardened his Heart, that he should not hearken to the Advice of the Court, and so Dy an easy Death; because as it said, “It must be done to him as he has done to me.” The Apparition also said, That Giles Cory was carry'd to the Court for this, and that the Jury had found the Murder, and that her Father knew the man, and the thing was done before she was born. Now Sir, This is not a little strange to us; that no body should Remember these things, all the while that Giles Cory was in Prison, and so often before the Court. For all people now Remember very well, (and the Records of the Court also mention it,) That about Seventeen Years ago, Giles Cory kept a man in his House, that was almost a Natural Fool: which Man Dy'd suddenly. A Jury was Impannel'd upon him, among whom was Dr. Zorobbabel Endicot;[148] who found the man bruised to Death, and having clodders of Blood about his Heart. The Jury, whereof several are yet alive, brought in the man Murdered; but as if some Enchantment had hindred the Prosecution of the Matter, the Court Proceeded not against Giles Cory, tho' it cost him a great deal of Mony to get off.

Thus the Story.

The Reverend and Worthy Author, having at the Direction of His Excellency the Governour, so far Obliged the Publick, as to give some Account of the Sufferings brought upon the


Countrey by Witchcraft; and of the Trials which have passed upon several Executed for the Same:

Upon Perusal thereof, We find the Matters of Fact and Evidence, Truly reported. And a Prospect given, of the Methods of Conviction, used in the Proceedings of the Court at Salem.

William Stoughton Samuel Sewall.