Grace Sherwood was married and lived with her three sons in Muddy Creek in the late 1600’s. In February of 1706 Luke Hill and his wife formally accused Grace of witchcraft. The County Court refused to pass judgement and the case was sent to Virginia’s Attorney General who also refused to see a clearly defined case. This eventually led Princess Anne County authorities to order a trial by ducking, with Grace’s consent. If Grace would float in consecrated water, as she did after being ducked in the Lynnhaven River off what is now called Witchduck Point, then she was deemed guilty of witchcraft. For this she spent seven years in jail. Afterward she lived out her life on a 140 acre land grant from Governor Spotswood.
It was through the efforts of Belinda Nash of Ferry Farm Plantation House that in July 2006, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine pardoned Grace Sherwood. A statue is being erected in her memory. If you would like to purchase a brick to be placed at the base of the statue, click here for a Brick order form.
Grace’s story has become Princess Anne county folklore and immortalized in Louisa Venable Kyle’s Book, The Witch of Pungo. The Witch of Pungo is a wonderful children's book of seven folk tales from Princess Anne County, including Christmas at Adam Thoroughgood’s House and Blackbeard’s Treasure. Though written as fiction, these stories are based on historical backgrounds which are outlined at the end of each story.
Louisa Venable Kyle was one of the founding members of the Princess Anne County Historical Society. She was a native of Norfolk, Virginia, attending Mary Baldwin Seminary and graduated from Lasell Seminary. Her writing first appeared in the Norfolk Virginia Pilot in 1950. Her books include, The History of Eastern Shore Chapel and Lynnhaven Parish, and A Country Woman’s Scrapbook.
The book: THE WITCH OF PUNGO by Louisa Kyle is Available at :
Blue Pete's and Back Bay Emporium
1400 N. Muddy Creek Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
and at other bookstores
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Princess Anne County/Virginia Beach Historical Society
2040 Potters Road, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23454
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