Walpurga Hausmännin

The Infamous German Babykiller

Germany in the 1500’s was a pretty risky time to be a midwife – even a really good one. And so it was with poor Walpurga Hausmännin when 20 years of brilliant midwifery and healing was snatched away by a stupid rumor and some very unfortunate circumstances, leading to her arrest and subsequent witch trial.

However, her story turns bizarre at her trial, when she confesses (under torture, of course), to countless instances of infanticide, vampirism, and even repeated s*x and malicious deeds with a demon named Federline. Of all the witch trials we’ve learned about so far on this podcast – this one is sure the most disturbing, both due to her extensive confession, and the absurdly long, incredibly horrific manner in which she was killed. This episode is not for the weak of stomach or the faint of heart. Listen on at your own risk!

Before the episode gets too gnarly, though, Sara takes a few minutes to recap some of the super interesting facts we’ve learned about witch trials so far in this series – especially in light of all the misinformation she’s been hearing lately. Turns out a lot of people don’t know what the bleep they are talking about.

“The majority of witch trials took place in the German-speaking territories of the Holy Roman Empire. At least a third of the estimated individuals accused of witchcraft in Europe were derived from German-speaking lands. This equated to between 30,000 and 45,000 executions within the Germanic region”