Often referred to as ‘Mad Maggie‘ Maggie had a reputation around Whitby which left her feared by anyone who crossed her path. She lived alongside the Church Steps and children would often flee if they saw her outside her home. Even those who didn’t believe she was a witch would spend their days searching for witch stones (also known as Adder stones), they would put the stones outside their home because even if Maggie wasn’t really a witch she
had to keep up her credibility by avoiding these magic stones.
The townspeople who were the most frightened of Maggie were the elderly and seamen for Maggie claimed to have the power to know when someone would die. She used the fear she created to her full advantage, creating charms and lucky pieces to sell for high prices which she promised would bring safety to those who bought them. She would sell charms to farmers for good or bad weather, when in reality she would check for signs of cobwebs on the lobster traps to know what weather was about to come.
Maggie did have one prophecy though that couldn’t have come from a long con. She promised that when she died the greatest storm ever would rage the North Sea and kill many sailors and fishermen, and to her word the day she died there was an eerie calm over the sea, even the famous Whitby gulls were nowhere to be seen. News spread around the Maggie had been found dead in her home, and as the news spread a massive storm wreaked havoc, killing many seamen and leaving many women widowed.