Pendle exhibition 'I am a Witch' aims to highlight how witch hunts still affect women today

Video report by ITV Granada Reports' Paul Crone.

Witch hunts that took place hundreds of years ago still affect women and inflict trauma, a new exhibition has said.

Thousands of women were accused of witchcraft in the UK and Ireland, with many of them tortured until they identified others including relatives as witches.

Those who were found guilty were hanged and, in some cases their bodies were then burned.

Now a new exhibition at The Storey in Lancaster, has opened exploring how the European Witch Hunts of 1450-1750 still affect us today.

Lead curator, Cali White, says the exhibition - which was co-created by 33 women known as the Silver Spoons Collective - hopes to show many of the traumas that women have now were inherited from the witch hunts.

Cali White co-created the exhibition with 33 women known as the Silver Spoons Collective, said: Credit: The Silver Spoons Collective

Cali said: "The Burning Times divided our communities, taught us to play small in order to survive and broke our trust in the people closest to us.

"The scars we still carry show up in many ways - fears of being seen or heard, experiences of betrayal, mistrust of other women, feelings of disconnection to nature, irrational fears, and struggles to feel at home in ourselves.

"Twenty five generations on we are left feeling powerless, isolated, stuck, divided, unsafe and unsupported.

"The Silver Spoons Collective is on a mission to shine a light on the shadows of the past so we may heal, grow and create new ways of being, rooted in healthy connection to ourselves, each other and the Earth."

The exhibition in Pendle. Credit: ITV News

The 'I am a Witch' exhibition will include a centre-piece memorial created by more than 1,000 women across the world honouring the innocent women persecuted as 'witches' during what is known as the Burning Times.

Alongside the main exhibition, live events featuring spoken word, music and dance performances will take place, as well as a series of daily workshops offers opportunities for learning and empowerment.

The exhibition is also hoping to highlight how modern-day witch hunts continue today, particularly in India, Africa and Brazil, the exhibition will also raise funds for charities working to support the growing numbers of innocent women being targeted.

Credit: The Silver Spoons Collective

'I am a witch' comes as the Scottish Government moves to pardon thousands of innocent women burnt as witches during the European Witch Hunts under the Witchcraft Act of 1563.

The pardon was in response to a two-year campaign called 'Witches of Scotland'.

Other organisations have also launched their own campaigns in England, including the campaign launched by Blackpool dungeons to pardon the Pendle Witches.

Cali added: "Our educational and experiential exhibition explores the history of the Burning Times, the vital history lesson mostly overlooked at school, how epigenetically inherited trauma from those times continues to affect us, and how creativity, ceremony and collaboration offer a threefold pathway to healing.

"We also want to dispel witch myths of 'black pointy hats, devil worshipping, warty-nosed old women' and tell the untold story of what really happened."

'I am a Witch' will run until 28 January.