When we think of witches being burned (which hopefully most of us don’t spend TOO much of our time doing), we usually think of it being at least 300 or 400 years ago in some place like Salem, Massachusetts. But not all of them were that long ago. Barely over a hundred years ago in Ireland a “witch” or perhaps a “changeling” was burned by her own husband. Such things can happen when people are ruled by their superstitions.
Left, a scene from “Burning Bridget Cleary.”
Bridget Cleary’s story is a sad one of death and betrayal caused by superstitions that still had a strong hold over the Irish in the countryside in 1894. Bridget’s husband applied one of those “witch tests” that always involves the accused needing to die to be proven “innocent.” This tragic story has been brought of life on the stage by Allison Gregory in her play “Burning Bridget Cleary.” The play is running in Seattle’s Capitol Hill Arts Center, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. For more information call: 800-838-3006 or go to http://www.capitolhillarts.com/
* The Burning of Bridget Cleary — A True Story
* Bridget Cleary
* Read “The Burning of Bridget Cleary” by Angela Bourke