“Deadly Witch Hunts in Canada: The Untold Stories of Victims”

By | July 9, 2023

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Canada, often seen as a peaceful and tolerant country, has its own dark history of witch hunts that have largely been forgotten. In 1944, an anonymous man in northern British Columbia shared his horrifying experience of being accused of witchcraft and tortured by members of his own community. This incident, along with several others, reveals that Canada’s witch hunts were as destructive as those that occurred in Salem.

The construction of the Alaska Highway in 1942 brought an anthropologist, John Honigmann, to the remote areas of Canada where he witnessed instances of witch hunting among Indigenous peoples. Honigmann documented these events in his writings, shedding light on a dark chapter in Canadian history that has been largely overlooked.

The witch hunts in Canada occurred in the interior regions of northern British Columbia and the Yukon Territory. The upheaval caused by the construction of the Alaska Highway disrupted Indigenous communities that had previously been isolated from settler society. This disruption led to outbreaks of what Honigmann referred to as “witch-killings.”

Accusations of witchcraft often followed the sudden death of a community member, with children and youths being targeted as the guilty parties. Those accused faced torture and interrogation until they either confessed or were executed. The methods of torture included tying up the suspect, hanging them upside down, and starving them.

Despite the efforts of terrified Indigenous peoples to inform the outside world about these witch hunts, government agents initially did not believe or care about their claims. It was only in 1924 that the RCMP finally launched an investigation into the witch-killings in the Kaska regions.

The forgotten witch hunts in Canada serve as a reminder that no country is immune to mass hysteria and the persecution of its own citizens. It is crucial to acknowledge and learn from these dark chapters in history to prevent similar injustices from occurring in the future..

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