It’s October and the night of the witches, AKA Halloween, is almost upon us and our dark magic sisters sure have been making waves in history… especially now that we’ve stopped burning them… or hanging them… or drowning them… or crushing them… you get the point.
One lucky Italian witch is soon to be cleared of her charges of, well, being a witch, by an Italian court. Unfortunately, the reprieve will occur around three centuries after she was put to death. Hopefully, this will be enough to stop the local children from turning into donkeys when they reach their sixteenth birthday.
Her name was Maria Bertoletti Toldini, and she was publicly beheaded and later redundantly burnt after found guilty of the crimes of witchcraft, heresy, and sacrilege. Because you have to completely defile a witch to make sure they don’t come back to life. The same holds true for mummies.
She was also believed to have killed a five year old child by throwing it in boiling melted cheese, which is the most Italian way to die. Two other charges, involving the murder of a two-year old and a three-year old, were also said to be connected to her, though there’s no word on if the kids were dipped in olive oil. Charges of adultery and sodomy were also said to have been thrown around… yikes. It probably didn’t help her case that the 60-year-old widow weighed the same as a duck and was clearly made of wood.
The mayor of Brentonico, Christian Perenzoni, wants to clear her name. He’s gone on record to say, “We wanted to render justice and historical truth, and give back the condemned woman her ethical, moral and civil dignity.” To help with the case, papers have been found that belonged to the case’s defense lawyer Giovanni Battista del Pozzo, and the papers indicate that the case should have been dropped due to a lack of evidence. While she probably wasn’t really a broom-rider there’s still uncertainty as to whether or not she actually killed any children. That could be chalked up as gossip and such gone horribly wrong, though. This whole reprieve is all just a PR thing, since, ding-dong, Ms. Toldini is long-dead and all right on down where the goblins go, but it’s the thought that counts… right?
Toldini was one of the last witches to burn in the region, but was still one of a large number of innocent men and women who were put to death for such a crime. Historically, even in a place as metropolitan and wholesome as New Jersey, literal witch-hunts could occur. Okay, there is no evidence of witches and wizards of actually being killed in Jersey, but it has been documented they were horribly tattooed, by burning, if they were found guilty… yes, wizards… looking at you, Gandalf.
Historically, the accused men in some places, such as New Jersey, again, were called wizards. No, I don’t know what the difference between a wizard or a warlock is… and, seriously, whoever brought “witcher” into the debate should be shot and quartered. Look, Bewitched used warlock, Charmed used wizard, and the Sabrina comics used both. What do you mean it is suspicious that I know so much about witches… play me out, Salem.