Video – Vampires and Witches in Connecticut a Lecture and Panel Discussion

YouTube – CTOldStateHouse


Filmed on October 22, 2013, this video is a part of Connecticut’s Old State House Conversations at Noon series. State Archaeologist Nick Bellantoni discussed the New England Vampire Panic and how historical and archaeological research uncovered early America’s widespread belief in the “undead.” A panel discussion explored Connecticut’s aggressive prosecution and execution of accused witches between 1647 and 1663, decades before the famous Salem witch trials. Lisa Johnson, executive director of the Stanley-Whitman House, shared her expertise on the trial of accused Connecticut witch, Mary Barnes; and Dr. Larry Goodheart, who recently authored the book The Solemn Sentence of Death: Capital Punishment in Connecticut, recounted the stories of 11 people put to death for witchcraft in Connecticut. The program was moderated by CT-N’s Diane Smith

Funding for the program provided by Connecticut Humanities

Learn More


University of Connecticut. “Connecticut Archaeology Center,” 2017. Link.
“Connecticut’s Old State House,” 2017. Link.
“Stanley - Whitman House,” 2017. Link.


Bell, Michael E. Food for the Dead on the Trail of New England’s Vampires. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan Univiversity Press, 2011.
Woodward, Walter William. Prospero’s America: John Winthrop, Jr., Alchemy, and the Creation of New England Culture, 1606-1676. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.
Goodheart, Lawrence B. The Solemn Sentence of Death: Capital Punishment in Connecticut. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2011.


Tucker, Abigal. “The Great New England Vampire Panic: Two Hundred Years After the Salem Witch Trials, Farmers Became Convinced That Their Relatives Were Returning from the Grave to Feed on the Living.” Smithsonian Magazine, October 2012. Link.

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