The Legacy of Bridget Cleary

This morning I saw two sad stories online: one about a mother who killed her 6 year old daughter, believing she was possessed by the devil, and the other — from a few months ago — in which a man explained the killing of his two stepdaughters as the consequence of a "spell gone bad."Both of these tragic stories remind me of the horrible Burning of Bridget Cleary, a notorious 1895 murder in rural Ireland where a man attributed his wife's illness to the malevolent influence of the fairies, and bur … [Read more...]