Does heaven exist? With well over 100,000 plus recorded and described spiritual experiences collected over 15 years, to base the answer on, science can now categorically say yes. Furthermore, you can see the evidence for free on the website allaboutheaven.org.

Available on Amazon
also on all local Amazon sites, just change .com for the local version (.co.uk, .jp, .nl, .de, .fr etc.)


This book, which covers Visions and hallucinations, explains what causes them and summarises how many hallucinations have been caused by each event or activity. It also provides specific help with questions people have asked us, such as ‘Is my medication giving me hallucinations?’.

Available on Amazon
also on all local Amazon sites, just change .com for the local version (.co.uk, .jp, .nl, .de, .fr etc.)

Sources returnpage

Bodenham, Anne

Category: Shaman

Anne Bodenham was a servant to Dr. Lamb of London when young, she was born in the 1500s in Fisherton-Anger, Wiltshire, England. 

She was accused of witchcraft and ‘commerce with devils’ and was eventually put to death in 1653 at the age of 80, [80 God help us], mostly on the evidence of a serving girl called Anne Styles.  

 The trial and condemnation by the serving girl is made more cruel by the fact that said serving girl was just one “Amongst others that resorted to her”.  In other words, many other people had asked for Bodenham’s help and the serving girl also went to her for help, not the other way round, so we have betrayal. 

Anne Bodenham is of interest to the site principally because some very clear descriptions exist of how she was supposed to ‘conjure up’ demons or the Devil and on four specific occasions there were witnesses, the main one of whom was the maid, Anne Styles, who ended up giving evidence in court under oath.  The cleric who recorded the trial noted that:

"Arriving at the place of execution, she [Bodenham ] attempted to go at once up the ladder, but was restrained. Mr. Bower pressing her to confess, she steadfastly refused, and cursed those who detained her."

And she had every reason not to confess, because as we will see, she wasn’t guilty of anything. 

Neil Rushton

Outside the dramatic inventions of Shakespeare, Drayton, Herrick et al., most accounts of human interaction with the faeries from the Early Modern period are derived from the disparate records of witch trials.

These records often chronicle the accused witches’ testimony (usually under torture) of consorting with faerie familiars, for the purposes of divination, healing and sometimes flying to Sabbaths.

Historians such as Carlo Ginzberg and Emma Wilby have teased out the detail from the trial records to create a convincing argument that they encode genuine evidence of shamanic practice amongst the witches .....

The records supply us with the largest body of documentary evidence for the ontology of the faeries between the 16th and 18th centuries.

The observations

Anne Styles was the servant to a man called Richard Goddard; ‘of the close in new Sarum’.

The first time Anne Bodenham was asked for help was when Anne Styles was sent by a Mr. Mason who was Goddard's Son in Law.  Goddard was wondering whether to start a Law Suit against his Father, so I think we can already work out that they were not a family to be trifled with.  Son in law Goddard sent Anne Styles to find out ‘from the Witch what would be the event of the Suit’ and gave her money to pay the witch.

The first Conjuration of this Witch

Anne Bodenham produced a very impressive show, using magic circles and calling up Belzebub, Tormentor, Satan and Lucifer, enough to seriously impress Anne Styles.  Not long after the spells, a great gust of wind shook the house, and not long after that the back-door of the house flew open,  and “there came five Spirits, as the Maid supposed, in the likenesse of ragged Boyes some bigger then others”.  The Maid, giving evidence in court may have supposed a lot of things, but these poor little boys were all too real – and hungry. 
They ran about the house, seemingly uncontrollably, indicating they might have been orphans not just half starved children ‘and the Witch threw down upon the ground crums of bread which the Spirits picked up’.  They then played with Anne Bodenham’s dog and cat.

Once she had fed them some beans the little boys left.  After which Anne Bodenham got back to the serious business of so called prophecy which, presumably knowing the family all too well, was actually simply good advice. 

The people of the day immediately assumed in the trial that these ‘boys’ were demons or agents of the devil, more recent analysis by those who believe in UFOs have suggested these spirits could have been aliens!  On the other hand they could have just been cold, thin, underfed and starving children, so pale and thin they looked like spirits.  And we shall see shortly that this is the most likely explanation…. 

An Antidote Against Atheism by Henry More - Book III: Chapter VII

3, But it may be it will be objected, That these were some poor ragged Boyes that complotted there with Anne Bodenham to get money upon pretence of Conjuring and foretelling future events, when as it was indeed nothing else but a cheat within the power of an ordinary knavish wit.

But the loudness of the wind, and the forcible shaking of the house upon those Magical Words and Ceremonies, may easily answer, or rather quite blow away, such frivolous Evasions.

After which Henry More says that “if the Objector will yet persist in his opinion, let him reade the circumstances of the second Conjuration of this Witches”.

And we have this too as an observation.

The second Conjuration of this Witch

We now need some background for the next observation.  Provided  by Henry More

An Antidote Against Atheism by Henry More - Book III: Chapter VII

……the case stood thus; Her Mistris either had, or feigned herself to have, a suspicion that her two Daughters in law, Mistris Sarah and Mistris Anne Goddard, complotted to poison her. Hereupon this Maid Anne Styles was sent to the Witch, upon pretence to know when this poisoning would be, and how to prevent it; and at the second time she consulted her, the Witch sent her to the Apothecaries to buy her some white Arsenick, and bring her it, which she taking told her she would burn it, and so prevent the poisoning of her Mistris.

In other words, this family was dysfunctional.  Anne Styles was Mrs Goddard senior’s maid and Mrs Goddard senior thought her daughters in law were trying to poison her.  So Anne Styles was sent to Anne Bodenham to find out when this poisoning would take place, and how to prevent it.  Initially she tries a bit of psychology using arsenic.

There is more ritual and ceremony and some impressive remote viewing using a crystal ball.  And from the second observation it appears that Anne Bodenham either had the ability to apport objects into her magic circle or she could summon up shape shifters, the description shows that the eye witness, again Anne Styles under oath testified that she saw the ‘transformation of a Boy into a Snake, and of that Snake into a shagged Dog with staring eyes’.  As Henry More somewhat astutely remarks this is “ a feat far above all humane art or wit whatsoever”.

The overall conclusion was that Sarah, one of the daughters in law, did have a package under her mattress.  So Anne Styles returned and reported back to her mistress.

The third Conjuration of this Witch

More then describes the third event also witnessed by Anne Styles.   At this stage it appears to get unpleasant as Anne Bodenham, makes some potions to apparently punish the two sisters for trying to poison their mother-in-law. 

But the potions are clearly harmless and all this is done by suggestion.  It is actually quite astute witchery, as she sends her fingernails to act as a bridge so she can find out more, and harmless herbs to make them think the potion is working – which it will if they think it will and won’t if they are innocent. 

She sends her ‘ragged boys’ into the fields looking for the herbs and at this point it becomes very clear that they are simply poor little urchins, who ran errands for her.  In each description she throws them crumbs to eat.

there came five Spirits, as the Maid supposed, in the likenesse of ragged Boyes some bigger then others, and ran about the house, and the Witch threw down upon the ground crums of breads which the Spirits picked up”.

Poor little ‘spirits’, presumably so hungry and thin and pale these little ragged urchins looked like spirits.  Children, hungry children.

The apparent magical powder was used at the trial, but of course it couldn’t be analysed so everyone assumed it was ‘bad’ instead of herbs that might have given them the wind – a farting punishment - but nothing else. 

The fourth Conjuration of this Witch

But the purchase of the arsenic had repercussions.  It was the maid Anne Styles who was sent to purchase the arsenic by Anne Bodenham and it got her into serious trouble.  For, it appears that the two sisters in law had also bought arsenic and all this started to come out.

An Antidote Against Atheism by Henry More - Book III: Chapter VII

The buying of this Arsenick was the great occasion of the Maid's flying. For it coming to the knowledge of the two Sisters how they were suspected to endeavour the poisoning of their Mother, and that they had bought an ounce and half of Arsenick lately at the Apothecaries, they, to clear themselves from this suspicion, made diligent enquiry at all the Apothecaries shops throughout Sarum, and at last found where the poison was bought. Hereupon the Maid was desired by her Mistris to goe away and shift for her self, to avoid that trouble and disgrace that might come upon them, if she should stay and be examined before some Justice.

In other words, the Maid Anne Styles was dismissed by the family because the two sisters in law had indeed bought arsenic and there seems to be some suspicion that they had indeed intended to poison their mother in law.

  Anne Styles fled, with the intention of going to London so that she could escape from the family. 

The implication in the observation is that Anne Bodenham was fairly convinced she would be murdered - got rid of - if she simply ran away, Bodenham even offered to 'transport' her to London - fly her there -   but Anne Styles panicked and ran away instead. 

A big mistake .......

An Antidote Against Atheism by Henry More - Book III: Chapter VII

While she was upon her journey, Mr Chandler, Son-in-law to Mr Goddard, hearing how his Mother-in-law was in danger of being poisoned, and that a Servant of hers that had bought the poison was fled, he forthwith with another man made after her, overtook her near Sutton, had her there into an Inne, where she ‘confessed’ what has been above related.

It’s the same the whole world over, it’s the poor that gets the blame, and the rich wot gets the pickings, ain’t it all a crying shame.

In Summary

As we shall see, a picture emerges of a lonely but gifted old woman, probably a spinster of this parish, who was capable of remote viewing, possibly herbal medicine, prophecy of sorts, and a certain amount of environmental control.  She could also fly and shape shift – all shamanic gifts.

In general people did not seem hesitant in asking for her services.  Another of which was tracing the location of stolen goods.

An Antidote Against Atheism by Henry More - Book III: Chapter VII

This Anne Bodenham, it seems, concealed not her skill in foretelling things to come, and helping men to their stoln goods, and other such like feats, that the more notable sort of Wizards and Witches are said to pretend to and to practise.

All around her were superstitious vindictive people, rich and poor alike,  who were using her to enact their petty feuds against one another.  Being kindly she had accumulated a little gang of poor ragged urchins, who she fed, using whatever bread and beans she had, for running errands for her.  Her company was her cat and dog.  Being astute, she used psychology and the appearance of magic to try to keep her very unpleasant neighbours in order.

So lonely is this poor old woman that she makes the mistake of asking Anne Styles to come and live with her and be trained in what she could do.  She clearly had no real apprentice and perhaps thought that Anne might be interested.  Anne had no home and no job at this stage, it was an act of kindness and compassion.

Anne Styles could neither read or write and was seemingly not the brightest of buttons.  It was a big mistake because Anne Styles was frightened by Anne Bodenham and what she could do.  Realising she had asked the wrong person Anne Bodenham then panicked and made her sign her name in blood that she wouldn’t divulge what she had seen and heard.  But Mr Goddard being, seemingly, a nasty piece of work in general apprehends her as she flees and threatens her – and in order to save her bacon, she breaks her vow made in blood.

As a consequence the only person killed in this whole sorry saga was the one who was most innocent.

An Antidote Against Atheism by Henry More - Book III: Chapter VII

Anne Styles’s behaviour at the Assizes, when she gave evidence against the Witch, was so earnest and serious, with that strength of mind and free and confident appeals to the Witch her self, that, as I was informed of those that were Spectators of that Transaction, it had been argument enough to the unprejudiced, that she swore nothing but what she was assured was true. And those floods of tears and her bitter weepings after Sentence was passed on the Witch, and her bewailing of her own wickedness and madness, and professing her willingness notwithstanding, if it might be done without sin, that the Witch might be reprieved, may further wash away all suspicion of either Fraud or Malice. ………………………… ………But if the sense be (admitting there are Witches) that she was none; I think it may be evidently evinced that she was, from what she undoubtedly both did and spake. As for example, from her shewing of the Maid in a Glass the shapes of sundry persons, and their actions and postures, in several rooms in her Masters house, whither when she had returned from the Witch, she told them punctually what they had been doing in her absence; which made Elisabeth Rosewell, one of the Family, profess, that she thought Miss Bodenham was either a Witch or a woman of God.




Her case and quite a bit about her can be found in

  • An Antidote Against Atheism by Henry More
  • James Bower, The Tryal, Examination and Confession of mistris Bodenham, before the Lord chief Baron Wild, & the Sentence of Death pronounc'd against her, etc. (London: printed for G. Horton, 1653).
  • Witchcraft condemn 'd in Anne Bodenham a Servant of his, who was Arraigned and Executed the Lent Assizes last at Salisbury... by Edmond Bower an eye and ear Witness of her Examination and Confession (London: printed by T.W. for Richard Best, and John Place, 1653).


For iPad/iPhone users: tap letter twice to get list of items.