The Lancashire (or Pendle) Witches are among the most famous in England. Like their US counterparts in Salem, Mass., the group were victims of over zealous neighbours who were quick to accuse at the first sign of trouble. Alizon Device was called witch after she had dealings with a peddlar who refused to give her some pins. He collapsed, paralysed, and later died (probably of a stroke) and Alizon was blamed. She was said to have cursed him, with the help of her large black dog familiar. Friends and neighbours were soon rounded up and branded as a coven, who were said to meet for Sabbats at the home of Anne Whittle, known as Old Chattox.
In spite of common belief, witches were not burned at the stake in England. That treatment was reserved for heretics, and the fires wee kept alight by throwing on homosexual 'faggots' (which actually means a bundle of sticks).
This 55 word story and its accompanying history lesson were brought to you in aid of the G-Man's weekly challenge. (I'm hoping he's better by now.) This has been posted in advance because we're currently on holiday in Lancashire. Looking for witches!