Our Town's Witch House

RC deWinter

Fairfield, United States

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*© 2009 RC deWinter ~ All Rights Reserved

It’s axiomatic that if you grew up in New England – from pre-colonial times right through to the present – that your town had at least one ‘witch house’ within its boundaries.

These houses were generally dilapidated and always inhabited by one strange old woman and, usually, one or more cats. The houses may have once been grand or perhaps more like shacks; they were sometimes isolated, or sat at the end of a cul-de-sac, or sometimes even right in the middle of an otherwise unremarkable neighborhood. But every town had at least one witch house that simultaneously attracted and frightened all the local children who came to know of it.

Beginning in pre-colonial times with the Salem witch trials, we New Englanders have cherished our folklore, brought to the New World by the superstitious Puritans from rural England. These tales of evil neighbors and dark happenings have been passed down from generation to generation through the centuries, shivered over around campfires or at sleepovers with friends. I myself, as a pre-teen, identified at least two witch houses not more than 2 miles from where we lived.

Digital oil painting, radically altered from an original photograph shot in April 2006 of a house that in reality is stunningly beautiful, located in the very old town of Essex, Connecticut.*

Artwork Comments

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