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The original item was published from 9/26/2023 12:08:44 PM to 12/12/2023 12:19:19 PM.

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Hampton History Museum

Posted on: September 26, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Hear the real story of the "Witch of Pungo" on Monday


Sept. 26, 2023 - Grace Sherwood was the only person in Virginia to be convicted of witchcraft after a trial by ducking.  Who was she really? 

Join author Scott Moore as he presents the real history of our region's most famous witch at the October lecture in the Port Hampton Culture Series. 

People have shared stories about Sherwood since she was bound and "ducked" in Lynnhaven Bay during her 1706 witchcraft trial. Because she was able to get free of her ropes and swim to the surface, she was convicted and jailed.

Using colonial records, this presentation will describe the life of Grace Sherwood and her accusers, and reveal the history behind the stories.

Moore, a native of Virginia Beach, is an associate professor of history at Eastern Connecticut State University. His book, "The Witch of Pungo: Grace Sherwood in Virginia History and Legend," will be published by the University of Virginia Press in Spring 2024.

"Grace Sherwood: The History Behind the Witch Legend" will take place Monday, Oct. 2, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hampton History Museum. Museum members are free; the cost for non-members is $5.

The Witch of Pungo is no longer a witch. Former Gov. Timothy M. Kaine pardoned her in 2006, on the 300th anniversary of her trial.

The Hampton History Museum is located at 120 Old Hampton Lane in Downtown Hampton. There is free parking in the garage across the street from the museum. For more information call 757-727-1102 or visit

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