Hex in CT: The First Witch Execution Took Place in 1647, Long Before the Salem Witch Trials
Alse Young has also been written about under the name Acsah and Alice but whatever she's called, her legacy is dreadful, the first life taken for a pointless cause. Young was killed in 1647, four decades before the Salem Witch Trials began.
Alse was a resident of Windsor, CT but was executed by hanging in Hartford in May of 1647 just months after being publicly accused of witchcraft. Not much is known about the circumstances that led to the accusations but it's said that Alce's daughter Alice was also accused of being a witch, 30 years later in Springfield, MA.
Witchcraft became a crime in 1642, and prior to that, there is not much of a record or mention of it. There is a video on Youtube that features a woman named Beth Caruso. Beth is an author, who literally wrote the book about Alce Young, and she says that Alce had the misfortune of having her daughter survive, when four other children around the same age, did not.
Meaning, a cluster of young people died but since Alse's daughter did not, she's a witch and must be killed. There was also the possibility that the flu epidemic, that had ravaged New England was responsible for the deaths but, best not think too deeply on this one when you have the opportunity to hang someone.
CT, like the rest of New England has a history of awful executions. In 1786, a 12 year old Native-American girl named Hannah Occuish was executed for the murder of a white girl. According CT History, Hannah was what we would call "developmentally disabled" today. There were also no witnesses to her supposed murder of 6 year old Eunice Bolles, the daughter of a wealthy New London family.
According to CT History, Hannah first told authorities that she saw 4 boys nearby the area where Eunice was killed. Local leaders apparently investigated and found no evidence to backup Hannah's story and they say she later confessed. Hannah was killed in New London in front of a large crowd on December 20, 1786.
Since I work for a Rock Station, I thought it would only be appropriate to share a death metal tribute to Alse, called Alse Young and recorded by Grasping at the Shadow.
P.S. The featured image for this article is cool, I should know, I took it but it's not from Windsor or New London. The picture is of the Oldest Cemetery in Danbury, CT.