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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Helen Duncan

DEFINITIONS

Helen Duncan:

(1897–1956) Scottish medium born Victoria Helen MacFarlane and who married Henry Duncan in 1916. Unfortunately, even when tested by the pro-Spiritist group, the London Spiritualist Alliance, her mediumistic abilities were shown to be fraudulent. Duncan is perhaps best known for being the last person imprisoned, in 1944, under the British Witchcraft Act of 1735. It is believed that her trial was, in part, responsible for the repeal of that act (it was replaced by the Fraudulent Mediums Act of 1951), which allowed for the work of Gerald Gardner and birth of Wicca and modern Witchcraft and Paganism.




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The Old City Jail ("Gaol") in Charleston, South Carolina was built in 1802 right over the Provost Dungeon and a potter's field. It also served as an insane asylum and housed Union soldiers (prisoners of war). The Gaol held prisoners up until 1939. The death toll on site is estimated to be anywhere from 10,000–14,000 (although admittedly,... read this article
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