The Washington Post reviewed several horror and supernatural books to mark Halloween. The illustration is from Witchfinders: A Seventeenth-Century English Tragedy.
Most Americans know about the infamous Salem witch trials of 1692, but a more lethal outbreak of witch hysteria infected England from 1645 to 1647, during the country's devastating Civil War. It all began when Goodwife Rivet got sick and her husband blamed her mysterious affliction on the bewitchment of a one-legged octogenarian named Bess Clarke. Two "witchfinders," Matthew Hopkins and John Stearne, interrogated the widow Clarke, and she proudly confessed to "carnall copulation" with Satan.