The Witches of Dogtown

Among the outsiders and drifters who called Dogtown, then known as the Commons or the Commons Settlement, there were several women who were suspected of performing witchcraft; these women included Tammy Younger, Luce George, Molly Stevens, Judy Rhines, Peg Wasson, and Molly Jacobs.

Known as the "Queen of the Witches", Thomasine "Tammy" Younger lived in a small house known as the Fox Hill Homestead near what is now Cherry Street. In the Fox Hill Homestead, she would read fortunes, entertain men, and hold card games. She made a living by making butter, begging for fish at the harbor, and allegedly threatening others with witchcraft to get supplies.

When Younger died, her coffin was made by John Hodgkins, who kept her coffin in his home before the burial. His family members were so frightened by the coffin that they refused to sleep with it in the shop.

Tammy Younger's aunt, Luce "Lucy" George, with whom she lived, was also a suspected witch. It was believed that she would curse the carts' loads until their owners would give her some of their goods.

Another alleged witch was Peg Wasson, who was believed to fly around on broomstick. It was rumored that she once flew over a soldier's camp in the form of a black crow, and was shot down by a soldier using a silver button. That same day, an identical button was supposedly extracted from Peg Wasson's leg by a doctor.

Other believed witches were Molly Stevens, Judy Rhines, and Molly Jacobs. Rhines spent her days tending geese, telling fortunes, picking berries, and cleaning homes. Her home stood at Commons Road which is now located underneath the Goose Cove Reservoir. She, along with Judy Rhines and Liz Tucker, were believed to be prostitutes though this claim has not been proven.

Works Cited

Brooks, Rebekah. "The Witches of Dogtown." History of Massachusetts. N.p., 6/21/2012. Web. 12 August 2012. http://historyofmassachusetts.org/the-witches-of-dogtown/.

Eric, Darcon. "The Story of Dogtown." . N.p., 20,August, 2006. Web. 11 August 2012. http://www.thedacrons.com/eric/dogtown/story_dogtown_gloucester.php.

Mann, Charles. In The Heart Of Cape Ann or the Story Of Dogtown. Gloucester: Procter Brothers, Publishers, 1896. Print.