Real Name: Laurie Cabot (born Mercedes Elizabeth Kiersey)
Place Of Birth: Wewoka, Oklahoma
Date Of Birth: March 6, 1933
Location: Salem, Massachusetts
Background: They were upstanding citizens of the New England town of Salem. But in 1692, during an unholy ferment of superstition and fear, they were hunted down, dragged from their homes, and accused in court of the ultimate evil: witchcraft. By the time the people of Salem came to their senses, they had condemned nineteen of their neighbors to be hung by the neck on Gallows Hill. The infamous event would become known as the Salem witch trials.
Three centuries later, witchcraft is alive and well in Salem, Massachusetts. “Unsolved Mysteries” filmed a ritual “celebration of life” conducted by a coven of witches. Their high priestess is a woman named Laurie Cabot. She says that the popular myths about witches – that they’re green, have warts on their noses, do evil, drink blood, and eat babies – are absolutely horrific and untrue. She notes that they are not connected to evil. She thinks that it is very important for people to understand that about witches, that they will be good neighbors, good friends, and as helpful as they can be with their ways.
Today, witchcraft is a cottage industry in Salem. Busloads of tourists line up at sites made famous by the trials of 1692. Stores sell potions, pentagrams, and books on casting spells. Indeed, in a turn of events that would have scandalized their pious ancestors, even the Salem police occasionally give a nod to the psychic observations of Laurie Cabot.
Laurie is a familiar face around Salem. She opened "The Witch Shoppe" there in 1970. In 1977, then-governor Michael Dukakis named her "Salem's Official Witch." She first offered her services to city police during the summer of 1991. While in her "alpha state", she gave them clues that she believes helped solve the disappearance of Martha Brailsford. She has also helped them with the still-unsolved disappearance of Gail Knowlton. According to her, she has worked with police departments across the country on several cases.
- The case first aired on the October 25, 1996 episode.
- It was excluded from the FilmRise release of the Robert Stack episodes.
- It was featured on the show after an "Unsolved Mysteries" researcher read about her in a book about Martha's case.
- Cabot was also featured on "Oprah" and "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson".
- Cabot's store closed in 2012, but she maintains an online business.
- Laurie Cabot Official Website
- Laurie Cabot on Wikipedia
- Laurie Cabot - a modern "witch" - July 31, 1977
- TV show to highlight '92 Salem case - October 13, 1996
- Psychic sets to dig for truth - September 1, 1998
- Salem's official witch closes up shop after 40 years - February 5, 2012
- She brought magic to Salem. She has mixed feelings about it - October 26, 2017