Abigail Hobbs

Abigail Hobbs

-22 years old

-Parents who were not church-members. Father may have been a laborer.

-Had lived a few years earlier in Casco, Maine. Now, the family lived on the edge of Salem Village, in part of modern-day Topsfield.

-Abigail had a reputation for being wild, apparently roaming the forests at night.

-Lydia Nichols, age 17 and a friend of Abigail’s, had at one point given Abigail a lecture when she had been rude. Abigail had also once told Lydia Nichols that “she had sold herself body and soul to the old boy.” Another villager said that Abigail, on being reprimanded about her behavior, said, “she did not care what anybody said to her for she had seen the devil and had made a covenant or bargain with him.”

-She was examined on April 19. She confessed to the charges. She said the devil had promised her fine things if she became a witch. She said she had allowed the devil to assume her shape to hurt the afflicted girls. The devil appeared to her as “a black man with a hat” She also named some others who were also witches. After awhile, she could apparently no longer hear Hathorne, and then said that Sarah Good told her not to speak. She then “went dumb.”

-Abigail had not known the afflicted girls, and they had apparently never seen her before the examination date. Abigail was taken to prison, but testified in many other trials against other people.

-She was tried on September 17, but was granted a reprieve because of her confession.

-19 years later, in 1711, she was paid 10 pounds as compensation.


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