It's said that you can choose your friends. Family? You not only don't get a choice, it's pretty much potluck. Especially when it comes to the generations past aunts, uncles and cousins. In the late 1690's Salem Massachusetts was the site of a notorious set of witch trials. Much of the sting is gone, and the town capitalizes on the notoriety with month long street theater, crafts, pagan celebrations. More about that later.
The unfortunate subject tonight is a certain Reverend Nicholas Noyes. Apparently my great uncle. Several times removed. During the trials he acted as one of the official ministers. When he called upon Sarah Goode to confess and avoid the rope she cursed him. "I am no more a witch than you are a wizard and if you take my life God will give you blood to drink." It took a few years and he publicly repented of his actions during the trials, but he died in 1717 of a hemorrhage. I think I would rather have known the witches, not the ministers. I'm afraid I would have made a very poor Puritan.