Walkers set witches record on Pendle Hill

Witches record attempt Four hundred and eighty-three people set the witches record

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A new world record for the most people dressed as witches in one place has been set on the 400th anniversary of the Pendle witch trials in Lancashire.

Four hundred and eighty-two people set the new record, which has never been previously attempted.

More than 1,000 people joined the Pendle Witch Walk to raise money for the Pendleside Hospice, Burnley.

To qualify for the record all witches had to be wearing a black pointed hat, black cloak and have a broom.

Guinness World Records said there was currently no similar record in place. The attempt was made under Guinness stipulations.

Lancaster witch trials

  • Held at Lancaster Castle in August 1612
  • Eleven Pendle people charged with murder by witchcraft
  • Additional alleged Pendle witch tried at York Castle
  • Ten found guilty and hanged, one died while awaiting trial, one found not guilty
  • Trials made famous by publication of The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster (by clerk of the court Thomas Potts)

Organiser Julian Jordan said the witch trials were a sombre part of the area's history but the walkers wanted to show off the best of Pendle including "our glorious countryside, our magnificent hill and our tumultuous history".

He said the organisers hoped the walk would raise £30,000 for the hospice.

The walkers made a five-mile circular trek including the summit of the hill.

The two-day trials in 1612 led to 10 people being hanged at Gallows Hill in Lancaster, after being found guilty of causing death or harm by witchcraft.

Commemorative activities include the launch of a sculpture trail in the woods near the village of Barley.

There will also be guided tours at Lancaster Castle, where the accused were imprisoned.

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