10 May 2015

On This Day: Witches in Ephrata

Dr. Diller Luther returned to his Reading home On This Day in 1880 after bringing suit in Lancaster against several people. The charge was robbing a grave! 

The defendants lived in Ephrata, which was described as a Dunkard village. The main accused was a man named Spangler. Dunkard simply is a term for members of the Church of the Brethren. 

The article states “the fight is for the possession of the old property that was originally established by the brethren and sisters of the cloister.” The article then describes the dress, lodging, and history of the Cloister. The Cloister, even in 1880, dated back several hundred years. 

Allegedly, the accused consulted an “old witch woman named Fisher” from nearby Reinholdsville about the lost land records.  


Lancaster daily intelligencer. (Lancaster, Pa.), 10 May 1880. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.  

On This Day is a prompt I started this month to further explore historical events.

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.