Will the infamous Pendle Witches be pardoned 400 years after their brutal execution?

Pendle Hill is known for its infamous past - especially for the people who lived in its dark shadow.

In 1612, a group of men and women, from Lancashire, were accused of witchcraft and sentenced to their untimely death.

Of those who stood trial, 10 - mostly women - went on to be hanged at Lancaster Castle. 

It is among the most famous witch trials in English history, and some of the best recorded of the 17th century. 

Pendle Hill Credit: ITV News

Historian Robert Poole told ITV Granada Reports said: "They were poor people, mostly women, on the margin of their communities.

"They made a living my begging and casting spells on their neighbours behalf, but when things went wrong those neighbours turned on them and gave evidence against them."

Now, a petition has been launched to officially pardon the infamous Pendle Witches more than 400 years after their brutal execution.

Self-proclaimed witch Semra Haksever believes it is never too late to take stock of history to create a better future.

She said: "Having a memory of what happened to these people is very important because it's going to change the narrative.

"The narrative has always been that witches are some old woman, painted in a green face and hooked nose who is hexing people and doing bad spells."

She continued: "When generally witches are just working in a very positive way with all the energy that surrounds us."

More than 400 years on, there is a thriving community of witches practicing magic freely in the North West which Semra describes as a 'kind of feminist movement'.

It's hoped that as attitudes seem to have softened towards 'witchcraft' there can finally be some forms of justice for the Pendle Witches. 

Blackpool Dungeon is calling for the witches to be pardoned. Credit: ITV News