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1809 in York, United Kingdom

The Yorkshire Witch

Story - told by Lorna Davies

Mary Bateman is locally known as the Yorkshire Witch, and was born in the city of York. Having worked as a servant, she left York in disgrace and fled to Leeds, where she began her career telling peoples fortunes.

She claimed to be possessed of supernatural powers, and she would use these powers to con people out of their property. When a couple that she was in the process of duping became suspicious of Mary, she attempted to kill them by poisoning them. Sadly, she was partly successful, and the wife died.


She was hanged in 1809 at York Castle in front of a large audience of on-lookers. Crowds of people paid to view her body, and strips of her skin was sold for various reasons, including to use as lucky charms.

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