Susannah Sheldon

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Susannah Sheldon

Immediate Family:

Daughter of William Sheldon and Rebecca Sheldon
Sister of Godfrey Sheldon; Mary Rea; Lydia Boren; Rebecca Sheldon; Ephraim Sheldon and 3 others

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About Susannah Sheldon

Susanna Sheldon (born 1674) was 18 years-old at the time of the Salem witchcraft trials. Like Mercy Lewis, she was a refugee from the Indian wars. In April 1692, four days after Reverend George Burroughs was accused of being the leader of the suspected witches, Sheldon allegedly began experiencing “strange spectral encounters."

On 24 April, she accused wealthy Salem merchant, Philip English, as her tormentor. She also accused Boston merchant Hezekiah Usher of witchcraft, and claimed to be afflicted by Goody Buckley, Bridget Bishop, Mary English, Martha Corey, John Willard, Sarah Good, Lydia Dustin, John and Elizabeth Proctor, and George Burroughs.

Altogether, Sheldon filed 24 legal complaints against her alleged tormentors. Throughout the trial, she allegedly experienced apparitions from specters whom she said tried to persuade her to sign the devil’s book; visions from the dead; visual manifestations of snakes and birds; and symptoms of feeling physically choked and having her hands bound so tightly that she could not free herself.

Beyond the trial, nothing more is known of her.


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