Wikiproject Witches

All through the 15th, 16th, 17th and 19th century there were multiple witch trials, mainly in Europe and America.

Blue glass witch ball
Presentation on witch hunts in the Lower lands, what later on would become the Netherlands and Flanders

This project aims to document the information there is on those trials, and on the accused and persecuted witches. About 85% of the persons accused where woman, because of the roles they fulfilled in daily life (midwifes, healers), and how vulnerable their position was in those specific times.

This involves different projects:

  • Commons - categorisation and structured data
  • Wikidata - d:Wikidata:WikiProject_Witches: creation of statements (for instance: accuser) to illustrate how people accused each other just to get redemption, translation of labels, adding names and information about the known witches (some are on Wikipedia, but those of who we do not have an article on the encyclopedia, may as well be relevant for Wikidata)

(*your project too?)

What can I do?


We would like to map and categorize the information we have on the different projects. Translating the articles into your own language, and add information and sources from your country.

How to do it - useful tips

  1. set up a home page project for witches on your local wikipedia or project
  2. put the link below in a section devoted to your language
  3. sign the participant's section so that we can contact youǃ
  4. learn wikidata to be able to enter useful information about prosecuted witches your might stumble upon in your region
  5. take photographs of the places where prosecuted witches lived and were prosecuted and upload them to commons
  6. contact local trial archives and associations to get the names and the primary sources of the trials in your region
  7. add them to wikidata paying attention to the needed properties of the date (there is a model on the wikidata witch project)
  8. make a SPARQL query (or ask for help on the discussion page to set up one or learn how to do it)
  9. translate articles in your own language on Wikipedia. You can start by translanting trials and general articles and then move on to biographies.
  10. update the below working list with ideas to do or articles to create
  11. organize an editathon on the subjectǃ We can help you to find out about grants from the Wikimedia movement
  12. write or blog about your experience and share itǃ We want to know about it
  13. Be bold, be patient this is a long run project

Some events like the Wikitechstorm can help you learn the tech skills needed. Newbies are welcomed, everybody starts at the beginningǃ

Local Projects


Edinburgh University


The Edinburgh University created a really cool project around the 3100 accused witches in Scotland and visualized their history by adding their data into Wikidata.

Check it out! (How did she go forward in this project? Read Emma's blog!)

French Wikipedia


On the French Wikipedia, a list was created, with an associated map from a Sparql query listing victims of the witch hunts: fr:Liste des victimes de chasses aux sorcières. There is an associated project ː

Associated projet on fr-wiki

Croatia and HR (+ SH?) Wikipedia


On July 24th 2021 an online presentation meeting *(FB event) was made of the wiki witch project to Croatian art professionals, enthusiasts and feminist-queer wikimedians (including HrW initiative and OpenGLAM_Croatia). They asked what articles were missing on the Wikipedia in Croatian languageː


One needs to be careful as term "Croatia" could cover different teritory than current during history (separate and joint with Dalmatia, Istria, Dubrovnik etc)

Wikidata items created

Catalan Wikipedia


No eren bruixes, eren dones (They were not witches, they were women) is a project that aims to:

  • Recover the memory of those innocent women who were victims of witchcraft accusations, tortured and executed.
  • Promote their dignity and reparation.
  • To vindicate all women who have been repressed throughout history.

What do we need?


Archives and GLAM


We need to access the data about prosecuted witches wherever this data is available in archives, libraries, museums. Once data is available it first needs to be integrated into wikidata.



If you have basic statements about witches (date of birth, name, place of prosecution, sentence, place and time of death) you can make a wikidata item. Before creating any element make sure you understand which statements and properties are needed.



The categorisation is very messy concerning witches, and art pieces depicting witches. Any comonnists wanted to help clean up and struture the data.



Downloaded data on wikidata generates a map to vizualise all the burned witches. If you have coding and mapping skills we need you ! The maps are to be broken down in regional maps so that all the data can show up on the maps.



There are still many historical articles and biograpèèhies missing !

Translation list

wikidata Description enwiki nlwiki frwiki itwiki arwiki eswiki ruwiki dewiki esperanto wiki nowiki cawiki Other language (please add a column) commons (photos)
insert new ideas of article here
witch hunt Hexenverfolgung im Herzogtum Westfalen
witch hunt Doruchów witch trial Doruchów witch trial
Q7161327 witchcraft Pelesit
Q7229521 witchcraft Poppet Monigote (magia) Atzmann (Magie)  
Q7225934 witchcraft Polong Полон (фольклор)
Q60791499 witchcraft Frog coffin
Q1616764 witchcraft Witch bottle Bouteille de sorcière Hexenflasche  
Q30765203 witchcraft witch ball boule de sorcière  
Q20982945 witchcraft en:Hōko (doll)
Q6418017 witchcraft Kitchen witch مداوي شعبي  
Q23020850 quiltmaker en:Wini McQueen
Q7664530 witch trial in Eastern Europe en:Szeged witch trials
Q1616830 witch trial in Eastern Europe Northern_Moravia_witch_trials
Q104858445 witch trial in Eastern Europe Witch_trials_in_Hungary
Q109923777 witch trial in Eastern Europe (Croatia) Mrna Ratkova
Q109929502 witch trial in Eastern Europe (Croatia) Jelena Kušenka
witch trial in Eastern Europe (Croatia) Margereta Kušenka
Q109944258 witch trial in Eastern Europe (Croatia) Kata Dolenec
Q109928848 witch trial in Eastern Europe (Croatia) Barica Cindek
Q109925350 Zagreb witch trials
Q109932801 Zagreb witch trials Ursula
Picture Article Description en de fr it es pt ru cz hr Σ
Wikidata st.
1 Witch trials in Hungary + - - - - - - - - 1 Q104858445 1
2 Northern Moravia witch trials + + - - + - - - - 3 Q1616830 8
3 Szeged witch trials Last witch trials in Hungary + - - - - - - - - 1 Q7664530 3
4 Wini McQueen (b. 1943) American textile artist + - - - - - - - - 1 Q23020850 12
Kitchen witch witch doll + - - - - - - - - 1 Q6418017 2 +
6 Hōko Japanese doll for protection of pregnant women + - - - - - - - - 1 Q20982945 0
7 witch ball Glass sphere said to ward off evil + - + - - - + - - 3 Q30765203 1 +
witch bottle counter-magical item used as protection against witchcraft + + + - - - - - - 3 Q1616764 2 +
9 Frog coffin burials of frogs in miniature coffins in Finland for the purposes of folk magic. + - - - - - - - - 1 Q60791499 0
10 Polong type of familiar spirit in Malay folklore + - - - - - + - - 2 Q7225934 1
11 Poppet doll used in folk magic and witchcraft + + - - + - - - - 3 Q7229521 2 +
12 pelesit spirit in Malay folklore + - - - + - - - - 2 Q7161327 1
13 Westfalen witch trials witch trials - + - - - - - - - 1 Q1616855 4
14 Doruchów witch trial   witch trial which took place in the village of Doruchów in Poland in the 18th century + - - - - - - - - 1 Q15214805 4
15 pelesit spirit in Malay folklore + - - - + - - - - 2 Q7161327 1
16 Poppet doll used in folk magic and witchcraft + + - - + - - - - 3 Q7229521 2 +
Σ → Autolist→ map gallery 15 5 2 0 5 0 2 0 0 29 avg: 2\3\20% 44  

Collection of materials and ideas