The skeleton of the “Fighting Fairy Woman”

Skeleton of Joan Wytte, the Fighting Fairy Woman, displayed at the Museum of Witchcraft in 1998. Image Credit: Museum of Witchcraft Click here to see full size image.

Skeleton of Joan Wytte displayed at the Museum of Witchcraft. Image Credit: Museum of Witchcraft.  Click here to see full size image.

The skeleton of Joan Wytte (1775-1813) was part of the exhibit at the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle in England for 40 years.  Joan Wytte was known as the “Fighting Fairy Woman” because of her aggressive demeanor and small stature.  She was an accused witch who was jailed for assault, but died in Bodmin jail before she could be tried.  Joan’s body was not buried and her remains became an oddity that eventually ended up at the Museum of Witchcraft

The curator and owner of the Museum of Witchcraft, Graham King, had Joan’s remains analyzed by a forensic expert.  The examination revealed that the skeleton belonged to a female who was in her late 30’s, who was smoker who used a clay pipe, and had a “huge abscess in her right wisdom tooth.”

Graham King organized a funeral for the skeletal remains of Joan Wytte in 1998.  She was buried in a local wooded area, but the exact location of her grave is unknown.

Update: I found a picture of her grave stone here.  The stone reads:

“Joan Wytte

Born 1775

Died 1813

In Bodmin Gaol

Buried 1998

No

Longer

Abused”

References:

The skeleton of Joan Wytte.  1998.  Retrieved on February 26, 2014 from: http://www.museumofwitchcraft.com/displayrecord_mow.php?ObjectNumber=24

Evans, D. (2009 September 12).  Redressing the Bones of an Argument- Do we gawp or do we Bury? The body of Joan Wytte, Witch-skeletons and the museum culture.  Retrieved on February 26, 2014 from: https://www.academia.edu/1660168/Redressing_the_Bones_of_an_Argument-_Do_we_gawp_or_do_we_Bury_The_body_of_Joan_Wytte_Witch-skeletons_and_the_museum_culture

Garner, Clare. (1998 September 21). Witches finally lay old Joan to rest.  The Independent.  Retrieved on February 25, 2014 from: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/witches-finally-lay-old-joan-to-rest-1199653.html

 



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