Students Questioned Whether A Teacher Was A Witch, But Then The Joke Ran Out Of Control
If you thought witchcraft trials were a thing of the past, think again. Centuries after the village of Salem became a hotbed of accusations, another small town found itself at the center of a witchcraft scandal where one poor teacher named Ann Stewart was even forced to defend herself in court — all thanks to a student joke which got way out of hand. The drama began when Dr. Byrd Granger, a notable academic and folklore expert, gave a talk at a Tucson high school. And judging by what happened next, the pupils hung on his every word.
While discussing the subject of witches in literature, Dr. Granger described the typical appearance of one. Traits included blue or green eyes, a fondness for sporting the same clothing shade, and a widow’s peak hairline. Unfortunately for one of the school’s long-standing teachers, that description fitted her down to a tee.
That’s right: English teacher Ann Stewart subsequently became the talk of the school due to her visible similarity to the witch archetype. In fact, several students even asked the woman at the center of all the gossip outright whether she really was a witch in disguise! But luckily, Stewart initially took it all in good grace — although she later may have had cause to rue her good-natured approach.
You might be surprised to learn that Stewart fueled the speculation herself by refusing to confirm one way or the other whether she had a witchcraft past. The teacher believed that her students were simply having a bit of harmless fun. She even encouraged them to investigate the subject further.
Folklore and witchcraft
In an interview with the newspaper, The Tuscaloosa News, Stewart explained why she had taken such an approach. She said, “I teach American literature, among other things. Although I’ve never had a unit in the occult, we do delve into early American folklore and witchcraft. It was good fun, and it stimulated them.”