The Life and Death of Goody Cole
Cole was New Hampshire’s only convicted witch.
But her early life is a bit of as much as
mystery as the years after her death.
Goody Cole is not her real name but that is the
name she went by. She may have been born
Doughty or Doughtie. Her first name is
thought to be Eunice. She is said to have
been born somewhere around 1607 in England.
There are no details about her early years.
No one is really sure if there were no records
that early in England or if her records were
Cole looked like what you would envision a typical
witch to look like. She had the wrinkly
face and crooked nose. But back in those
days, women looked older quicker than they do
today for a couple of reasons. One reason
was that women worked a lot harder keeping house
and the second reason is the lack of health and
dental care during those times.
do know that she married William Cole in England
in 1625. William was born in 1582, making
him 25 years older than Eunice. They
sailed from England to Boston in 1637.
They first made their home in Exeter NH and
eventually moved to Hampton NH where they would
settle down and Goody Cole would make a name for
one is sure if William and Goody Cole had any
children. Some records state that they had
4 or 5 children while other records state the
couple had no children.
Cole was not a likeable person by any means.
She didn’t have any friends and her neighbors
either hated her or feared her. She had a
very unpleasant personality. Goody and her
husband lived on Island Path in a very secluded
though her home was in a secluded spot, the
village children loved peering in her windows.
They would tell stories of seeing the devil
sitting at her kitchen table. From that
point, she was feared by many of the village
Another incident happened when Goody Cole was on
her porch when she noticed a boat going down the
river with a family in it. The youngsters
were chastising Goody by calling her a witch.
She replied to them by saying “You are brave
today, but I hear the little waves laugh and
tell me that they broth that awaits you at home
will be very, very cold.” Downstream, the
boat encountered a sudden storm that caught them
off guard. The winds blew at very high
speeds for about 40 minutes and then all of a
sudden the sun came out. The boat or the
people on board, four men, two women and two
children, were never seen alive again.
Townsfolk suspected Goody Cole not only of being
a witch but a dangerous witch at that.
In 1656, Goody Cole was charged with being a
witch. Since no one really liked
her, she didn’t have anyone to defend her and
the select few that did believe she was innocent
were afraid to come forward because they feared
they would be labeled a witch as well.
They were many who testified against her
including a farmer whose calves died and two
housewives who heard unexplained noises when
they mentioned Goody by name.
Goody Cole was convicted of being a witch and
was sentenced to live in prison or until the
courts decided to release her. She was
imprisoned with a lock kept on her leg.
There were many petitions by Goody and her
husband for her release from prison. Her
husband was in poor health and needed his wife
to care for him but the courts denied their
requests. William Cole died in 1662.
In 1665, Goody petitioned for her release and
was granted permission on the condition that she
moves out of the jurisdiction of the court.
She moved to the foot of Rand’s Hill where the
town provided a shack for her and food and heat
In 1672, Goody was once again charged with being
a witch. She was said to have been seen
not only as a witch woman but as a dog, a cat
and an eagle as well. But this time she
was found not guilty.
No one is really sure when Goody Cole died
because she had no friends and more than likely
died in solitude. People in the town would
start to notice that there was no smoke coming
from her chimney in a few days so they decided
to investigate and found their way into her home
where she lie dead.
The village folks were still scared of Goody,
even in death so they hurried to bury her in a
hole outside her shack. She had a stake
through her heart with a horseshoe nailed to the
end of the stake. The stake was driven
through her heart so she could not come back
from the grave and the horseshoe represented
warding off the devil from claiming his prey.
The grave was also supposed to be covered up in
such a way that it was not to be noticed to ward
off future witches. But that night, she
was unearthed by two of the towns’ wizards and
the stake and horseshoe were removed. No
one is sure where she was buried.
Goody Cole remained quiet for two hundred and
twenty five years. The Fogg Family moved
into a house that was built on the land where
Goody’s house once stood. They stated they
had encountered bad luck from the day they moved
into the house.
But something amazing happened in 1936. A
group was formed called “The society in Hampton
for the apprehension of those falsely accusing
Eunice Goody Cole of having had familiarity with
the devil.” There were some famous people
who were part of this group such as Governor
Frances Parnell Murphy and Highway Commissioner
In a town meeting held on 03/08/1938, the town
cleared Goody’s name and restored her as citizen
in good standing. They burned all the
papers convicting her of witchcraft and placed
the ashes in an urn. The ashes were
supposed to be buried but they were forgotten
about and the urn now sits in The Tuck Museum in
Between the years of 1939 and 1963, the town of
Hampton NH saw a mystery woman roaming around
town. An old woman with blue eyes and grey
hair would wander around town asking people
where Goody’s memorial was. A police
officer saw the old woman wandering around a
cemetery reading the words on the stones.
He asked her what she was doing and she stated
she was walking around as she had been doing for
hundreds of years. When he went to shine
his flashlight on her, she was gone. Other
townspeople claim they have seen the woman walk
through closed doors.
No one has ever been able to prove who this
mystery woman was.
By Deana Clark, an independent writer
The Legend of Eunice "Goody" Cole