Lore season 2, episode 5 recap: Mary Webster: The Witch of Hadley


Today Lore takes a look at the legend of Mary Webster, one of the stranger witch stories in American history.

In 1682 Hadley, Massachusetts, town pariah Mary Webster has just returned from Boston after being acquitted of witchcraft, much to the anger of the Puritan townspeople. The town mayor Philip Smith is particularly outraged and when he falls deathly ill, he and his son Josias unsurprisingly blame it on being cursed by Mary in this episode of Lore.

Another citizen livid at Mary’s acquittal is Verity Hollister, whom she believes killed her mother using her alleged witchcraft.  She is surprised to be visited by Mary herself, who has come to return a cross she left behind the night before when Mary caught her and her friend Amy sneaking around her property.  Verity assumes it’s some kind of trick, which Mary rightfully scoffs at and tells her she’s just as stupid as the rest of the town.

After Mary leaves, Verity notices she left a cloak behind which she and her brother Eli recognize as once belonging to their mother.

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Verity and Amy then go to visit Phillip to tell him what they “witnessed” while they were on Mary’s property.  They tell him that she was outside burning a fire to summon a demon and claim that Mary had loudly declared to have cursed Philip.  When Philip also finds out that Mary also touched the cross Verity is wearing around her neck, he immediately has it burned.

This is more than enough to convince Philip that the witch Mary Webster needs to be hanged, so Josias leads a group of people, including Eli to hunt Mary down.

Verity inspecting the cloak Mary left behind discovers that her mother had given it to Mary shortly before she passed.  Now suddenly guilt-ridden at helping to set Mary up to be murdered, Verity goes to her house to warn her.

Despite Verity’s warnings, Mary refuses to be run from her home and even suggests that Verity should leave soon to avoid being declared guilty by association.

It doesn’t take long before Eli and Josias find Mary in the woods, at which point they savagely beat her and hang her from a tree with Verity secretly witnessing the whole thing.

Verity confronts Eli about killing Mary though admits she’s just as culpable.  Eli gently reminds her that it would be best for her to continue to show Philip what a pious Christian she still is since the townspeople will be looking for someone new to blame for bad fortunes now that Mary is dead.

Nevertheless, Verity goes back to the woods where Mary was hanged only to find that her body is no longer there.

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She goes to visit Philip’s home, whose health has started to show some improvements since Mary’s hanging.  Just as she begins to question what happened to Mary’s body, they see a bloody and inexplicably still alive Mary standing outside the window demanding that Philip come out and face what he has done.  Philip then drops dead on the spot, no doubt from shock.

Verity acknowledges that it could’ve been God that saved Mary from hanging but wonders then why He didn’t save the victims of the Salem witch trials a decade later.

What are your thoughts about this latest episode of Lore?  Give us your thoughts in the comment section.