Pennsylvania’s First Witch Trial Authentic Re-Creation at Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum

Oct 8th, 2013

Pennsylvania’s First Witch Trial

True History of 1684 Witch Trial Spookier than Ghost Tales

Authentic Re-Creation at Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum

Saturday, October 26th at 1:00 p.m.

WitchTrialAllentown, PAPennsylvania’s First Witch Trial took place in 1684—eight years prior to the notorious Salem Witch Trials.  The trial of Pennsylvania’s Margaret Matson will be authentically re-created at the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum in Allentown on Saturday, October 26th at 1:00 pm.  The announcement was made today by Joseph Garrera, Executive Director of the museum.

Witchcraft accusations are infamous history, mass hysteria, and the crucible of darkness,” said Garrera.  Museum officials want the public to experience facts that are more frightening than fiction.  These emotions and circumstances still haunt American popular culture and political discourse.

Based on official transcripts, historical facts, and traditions from the actual trial that convened in Philadelphia in 1684, museum officials have re-created an authentic courtroom scene similar to those of the 1680s.  Margaret Matson, “The Witch of Ridley Creek, will defend herself against the vile accusations of her neighbors.  Will her fate foreshadow the justice gone awry years later in Salem?  Or will the trial, presided over by Pennsylvania Proprietor William Penn, end differently?

“This event is based on true testimony and real facts as they occurred more than three hundred years ago,” said Garrera.  “We want to give the public a sense of reality—to experience a witch trial first-hand.”

The trial will convene Saturday, October 26th, when the first 11 visitors to the event will be allowed to serve on the jury.  Museum officials state that the event is suitable for all ages.  Event admission is FREE to Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum/Lehigh County Historical Society members; non-members pay only $6 for adults, $3 for non-member children.

The Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum is a teaching institution that attracts a diverse audience. Its collections of historical Americana include over 30,000 three-dimensional objects, 3 million documents and more than 80,000 vintage photographs.   Regular Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 12 NOON to 4 p.m. (closed every Monday).  Regular admission is FREE to members, $6.00 for adult non-members, and $3.00 for non-member children.  The Museum is located at 432 W. Walnut Street in Allentown.   Parking is available in the rear of the Museum, on the street, and in nearby lots.  For more information, contact Joseph Garrera, Executive Director, at 484-553-2592 (cell) any time of day or at 610-435-1074. Visit or visit us on Facebook.

Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum

432 West Walnut Street

Allentown, PA  18102


Joseph Garrera, Executive Director

Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum

(610) 435-1074, Ext. 19