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Pyewacket (familiar spirit)

Pyewacket was one of the familiar spirits of a witch detected by the "witchfinder general" Matthew Hopkins in March 1644 in the town of Manningtree, Essex, England. Hopkins claimed he spied on the witches as they held their meeting close by his house, and heard them mention the name of a local woman. She was arrested and deprived of sleep for four nights, at the end of which she confessed and called out the names of her familiars, describing the forms in which they should appear. They were:

  • Holt, "who came in like a white kittling"
  • Jarmara, "who came in like a fat Spaniel without any legs at all"
  • Vinegar Tom, "who was like a long-legg'd greyhound, with a head like an Oxe"
  • Sacke and Sugar, "like a black Rabbet"
  • Newes, "like a Polecat"
  • Elemanzer, Pyewacket, Peck in the Crown, Grizzel, Greedigut, described as imps

Hopkins claims he and nine other witnesses saw the first five of these, which appeared in the forms described by the witch. Only the first of these was in the form of a cat; the next two were dogs, and the others were a black rabbit and a polecat – so Pyewacket was, presumably, not a cat's name. As for the other familiars, Hopkins says only that they were such that "no mortall could invent." The incident is described in Hopkins's pamphlet "The Discovery of Witches" (1647).


Pyewacket may refer to:

  • Pyewacket (familiar spirit), a familiar spirit, reported by an alleged witch in 1644
  • Pyewacket, Gillian Holroyd's cat and familiar in the film Bell, Book and Candle
  • Pyewacket (novel), a 1967 children's novel by Rosemary Weir
  • Pywacket, a hybrid orchid of the genus Cymbidium
  • Pyewacket (yacht), a MaxZ86-class sailing yacht commissioned in 2004 by Roy E. Disney; also a Santa Cruz 70 sailed by the Disney family.
  • Pye Wacket, an experimental missile
  • Pyewackett, Electric folk band remembered for updating 18th century songs with modern harmonies and inventive instrumentation.
Pyewacket (novel)

Pyewacket is a children's novel written by Rosemary Weir and illustrated by Charles Pickard. First published in 1967, the narrative centers on the demolition of a series of row houses from the viewpoint(s) of Pyewacket, a resilient alley cat, and his friends, who stay on the property and adapt to a new life.

Category:1967 novels Category:American children's novels Category:Fictional cats Category:Children's novels about animals Category:20th-century American novels