Representation of Moll Pitcher / Mary Pitcher based on a picture on file with Massachusetts Historical Society

Based on Picture 

Mary Pitcher Witch Of Nahant.

Marblehead Myths, Legends and Lore

The Realness of Witchcraft in America





Moll Pitcher

The American Sybil


" magnificent music conducted on wires hundreds of miles away will play at the instigation of man. "

Moll Pitcher , Mother Shipton, The Sybils and the Wicked Witch of the West bear incredible similarities in the legendary descriptions handed down of them.  She died circa 1815. Although a Certain Judge Newhall known as the historian of Lynn {Massachusetts} wrote of her, and referred to her as "Mary Pitcher" he lists her date of Death as 1813

Moll Pitcher was an Irish woman transplanted to Colonial America  she was a prominent seer of the 18th century. She played a role in the American Revolution ,both the American and British forces are said to have consulted her. She should not be confused with a Molly Pitcher who hailed from the same era, but was a Revolutionary War Heroine.

Legendary accounts describe her as a "hag" although Judge Newhall's Historical account describes her as fair.

"The figure of the Witch as conceived by 17th Century New Englanders, was powerful, dangerous, an altogether formidable adversary ... she was a Hag"  Entertaining Satan John Demos
John Greenleaf Whittier  another  Massachusetts native ,wrote a 900-line poem about her entitled Moll Pitcher. It was Whittier's second published work. The poem is not complimentary.

"..She stood upon a bare tall crag
Which overlooked her rugged cot-
A wasted, gray, and meagre hag,
In featured evil as her lot.
She had the crooked nose of a witch,
And a crooked back and chin;
And in her gait she had a hitch,
And in her hand she carried a switch,
To aid her work of sin,-
A twig of wizard hazel, which
Had grown beside a haunting ditch,
Where a mother her nameless babe had thrown
To the running water and merciless stone....."

Nathaniel Hawthorne further perpetuated the Legendary Witch accounts of Moll Pitcher in his Literary Classic The Blithedale Romance . as well as The House of the Seven Gables

" The wood, in this portion of it, seemed as full of jollity as if Comus and his crew were holding their revels in one of its usually lonesome glades. Stealing onward as far as I durst, without hazard of discovery, I saw a concourse of strange figures beneath the overshadowing branches.

Among them was an Indian chief,..., the goddess Diana, with the crescent on her head, ... Another group consisted of a Bavarian broom–girl, a negro of the Jim Crow order, one or two foresters of the Middle Ages, a Kentucky woodsman... and allegoric figures from the “Faerie Queen,” were oddly mixed up with these. Arm in arm, or otherwise huddled together in strange discrepancy, stood grim Puritans, gay Cavaliers, .... and Moll Pitcher, the renowned old witch of Lynn, broomstick in hand, showed herself prominently in the midst, as if announcing all these apparitions to be the offspring of her necromantic art.    .... “I'll root him in the earth with a spell that I have at my tongue's end!” squeaked Moll Pitcher. “And the green moss shall grow all over him, before he gets free again!”

She is also mentioned in The Journal of Henry David Thoreau
{Volume 7, September 1854 to October 1855

His Grand daughter Mary Pitcher {Moll Pitcher} shared this reputation. Stories circulated after the Revolutionary War that she had passed British military secrets to George Washington, and that she prophesied he would become President.

The foremost Historical resource for researching Moll Pitcher is " Moll Pitchers Prophecies" by Mrs. Ellen Griffin "{1895} from which unaccredited italicized sections of this page are drawn

Her Grandfather was a Captain Dimond , Aholiab Diamond by some accounts, John Dimond as per Encyclopedia of the Undead and William Dimond as per Marblehead, Massachusetts (Images of America) {page 280 - Dimond House} . He was also known as "The Wizzard of Marblehead"  and it was said he "used to pace the Cemetery at night conversing with ghosts..."  Captain Dimond claimed he was descended from a race of astrologers.

Captain Dimond a Wampanoag Indian wonder-worker by some accounts used his powers to save sailors from shipwreck during storms, locate thieves and lost objects and he was reputed never to have used his powers for his own advantage.

What became of the generation between Grandfather and Granddaughter is not certain.

But there are records of Mary Dimond {Diamond} having married her Grandfathers apprentice - Richard Pitcher. This marriage produced four Children, 3 girls and a boy, whose descendants still inhabit the region.  By sheer coincidence the Passamaquoddy

Indians of New England have legends of a Witch known as the "Pitcher Witch" is Pitcher in the native tongue. "... there was, one whom the Passamaquoddy call Pook-jin-skwess, or the Pitcher.   ..." The Algonquin Legends Of New England by Charles Godfrey   Also The Evil Pitcher

Treasure-seekers frequently consulted her and she is said to have been somewhat successful in her predictions for locating treasure and other lost valuables.

An old legend described how, during the 17th Century, pirates had sailed up the Saugus River in Massachusetts, hid their ship and made their way through the woods. They found a cave, and hid themselves and their treasure. While they were hidden, an earthquake buried them and their treasure. For this reason, the locals have called the stone outcropping surrounding the pirates cave- Dungeon Rock.  Over the last several Centuries, many treasure hunters have visited Lynn’s Dungeon Rock. They gave hints about where the pirate treasure was hidden. They followed in the prophetic traces of Moll Pitcher, who had declared that

“The day will come when the rockbound secrets of Dungeon Cave will be revealed and the world will be astonished at the priceless gems discovered. There are also the gold coins of all nations in boxes. There will be found ransom and riches enough to purchase and empire.” Only a seer would be able to locate it, through reading “the pictorial language of crags, cliffs, and rocks of ages.” [Moll Pitcher'S Prophecies: Or, the American Sibyl by Ellen Griffin ]

She frequently predicted shipwrecks and is mentioned in many books on travel and seafaring from the era, some of which have survived to modern times.



Relevant Links

NY Times Article  July 15, 1879

Poetry of Places in Essex County

Essex Antiquarian Article and Historic Documents pertinent to Moll Pitcher





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