Supposed witch (1605-1692?). Like many women accused during the witch trials in New England, Keziah Mason was an elderly woman who lived alone and had eccentric habits. She had never married, refused to attend the local church, threw rocks at children who came near her home, and had been suspected for years of setting fires in the fields of local farmers who displeased her.

However, unlike other accused women, Mason is considered by history to be a truly malign person. There was strong circumstantial evidence that she had murdered several children who had made pests of themselves. Two had thrown rocks through her windows and vanished less than two weeks later. Another made up insulting songs about her and was found stabbed to death in her bed just two nights later. A fourth drew chalk caricatures of her on the walls of buildings near her house. He vanished before the week was over and wasn't found for over five months. He was discovered in a field outside of Arkham, Massachusetts, that was owned by Mason. The boy had been decapitated and dismembered. His limbs and torso were arranged in a five-sided pentagon, with his head in the middle.

Mason was accused of witchcraft in the early summer of 1692. Unlike other witches, she confessed happily and without torture, bragging that Satan had given her a new name, Nahab, taken her to evil rituals in Boston, France, England, Spain, Africa, China, and a country called Leng, and helped her defile churches, corrupt maidens, and infect dozens of people with consumption, or tuberculosis. She claimed that the Devil (whom she insisted on calling the Black Man in the Woods) had taught her how to travel great distances by drawing certain combinations of lines and angles and that he had given her a special familiar -- a rat with a human face, which she named Brown Jenkin.

Mason was, obviously, convicted and condemned to death, but she somehow managed to escape from her cell, leaving nothing behind but a few mysterious lines and angles drawn on the wall of her cell. She was never re-captured.

Sightings of Keziah Mason and Brown Jenkin persist to the present day. She has been blamed for almost a dozen deaths since the 1700s.

"The Dreams in the Witch House" by H.P. Lovecraft
Encyclopedia Cthulhiana by Daniel Harms, p. 131

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