Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Although the stereotypical image of a witch in popular culture is of a green-faced, hunched-over old woman, probably with a broomstick and a black cat close by, the men and women (though mostly women) who were accused of being witches in Salem would have looked just like ordinary people. This...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Although the stereotypical image of a witch in popular culture is of a green-faced, hunched-over old woman, probably with a broomstick and a black cat close by, the men and women (though mostly women) who were accused of being witches in Salem would have looked just like ordinary people. This is of course because, for the most part, they were just ordinary people. In fact, this is what made them scary, at least to people who believed in their existence. They were scary precisely because they could, as it were, hide in plain sight.

Although the majority of people accused of witchcraft would have looked no different from the average person, there were likely some people who would have had distinguishing physical features which might have made the accusation more probable. A mole or a birthmark, for example, might be interpreted as a mark of the devil's influence.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team