Our Salem poppet is different than common or popular poppets found in the witchcraft market; part of our extra large Salem Box, our poppet is loyal to the history from which it stems and mimics the structure, look and construction of actual 1692 Salem poppets. In fact, it mimics an actual poppet found within the walls of a Salem home. While it is not confirmed that that poppet found and on display is that of Bridget Bishop, our poppet is an homage to her, as she was the first person hanged in Salem for witchcraft and she was accused years prior of hiding poppets in her walls.
Bishop was no stranger to court or to accusations by the time 1692 arrived; indeed, her troubled, abusive relationship with one husband, Thomas Oliver, found her in court and in the public eye. She was also known to call upon neighbors to serve as witness to the physical and emotional abuse that occurred in the home; and she was known for her strong, independent personality and razor tongue. This sharp tongue lead her neighbors to believe her murmured grumbles and outbursts were curses toward them, and when she was accused of housing poppets within her walls in 1685, whispers of being a witch emerged with strength. The court would not have a physical exhibit to prove she had poppets in her walls, but the testimony of local home repairmen who had performed work on her house was enough for public opinion to turn against her. While she was not convicted then, the village did not forget these occurrences and they played a large part in the charges against her in 1692.
We honor Bridget not only for her significance in the trials but for her unabashed sense of self and the hardships she endured. Our poppet is hand-sewn with every stitch, stuffed with muslin rags and constructed in a very primitive human-like shape to mimic true, traditional 1692 poppets. These are 7-8 inches long, and 2 inches thick. These can come with copper eyelets or swaths of antique lace (which Bridget was accused of having dyed for her poppet).