Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Witch Hunt: A Century of Murder | Channel 5's grisly documentary is a must-see

On Channel 5 in the UK tonight at 9pm, Witch Hunt: A Century of Murder finds Suzannah Lipscomb investigating the original of the obsession for mass witch gunts and trials that swept the British Isles during the 17th century.

The two-part documentary ends next week with a profile of Matthew Hopkins, the opportunistic puritan witch-hunter who transformed paranoia about Satanism into a lucrative business as he hanged hundreds of people for crimes they could not possibly have committed.

Making use of contemporary reports, Suzannah paints a portrait of a man who believed he could cross any boundary and break any law to achieve his goals. Naming himself 'Witchfinder General', Hopkins toured the country charging fees for his services, but Suzannah's research reveals that ultimately, the public's distaste for witches was not as strong as its hatred of being conned by charlatans.

Hopkins would eventually die of tuberculosis in relative obscurity, but his malign legacy lived on across the Atlantic, as witch-hunts began in Salem, Massachusetts.

The real story of Hopkins and the English witch trials will also feature in a special talk being conducted during the Vincent Price London Legacy Tour on Sunday 8 November when I shall be taking a group on tour to Lavenham in Suffolk, the real-life setting for the 1968 horror classic Witchfinder General, starring Vincent Price as Hopkins.

Tickets for this tour are almost sold out, so if you want to join me then click here or on the photo below to book your tickets now!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dang, all the good stuff is in your country! -A Yank