The remains of Joan Wytte, alleged witch of Bodmin, were displayed for over 30 years in the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Cornwall. Buried in the woods behind the town in 1998 her memorial stone has become a pilgrimage destination for those keen to ensure she is not forgotten. While there is no archive evidence to support the claims made about her life and death, she remains an important figure. This talk looks at how the life and death of Joan Wytte has become a foundational stone for modern witches in search of practical ancestors and considers how this story reveals how we think about historical witchcraft accusations and their relevance to us today.

Notice: this talk will include images of human remains.


Dr Helen Cornish (Anthropologist, Goldsmiths): I have carried out anthropological fieldwork with British witches and Pagans on histories of modern witchcraft since 2000. Much of my research has been in Sussex and at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic.

don’t worry if you miss it – we will send you a recording valid for two weeks the next day