The witch's spirit takes possession of Burton's body


Real Name: Malloy (first name unrevealed)

Identity/Class: Human magic user (17th century)

Occupation: Witch

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: None

Enemies: John Burton, Paul Burton, the villagers of Salem

Known Relatives: Mr. Malloy (husband, deceased)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Salem, Massachusetts in USA

First Appearance: Journey into Mystery I#19/5 (November, 1955)

Powers/Abilities: Witches like Malloy could live forever, preying on living mortals. Their bodies could die but their spirit, if not destroyed together with the body, was free to roam and to find a human host to possess. After some moments of possession, the host body's former character was completely eliminated.
    Malloy used a cauldron to perform other rituals and evil deeds, but her other powers were not revealed.
    The weakness of such witches was fire. Their spirit was burned and killed only by fire.

The witch Malloy at the stake before the burning

(Journey into Mystery I#19/5 (fb) - BTS) - The widow Malloy, an old woman who lived gathering herbs in the forest near Salem, secretly performed witchcraft. One night she was spotted by one of the villagers while she was at her cauldron.

(Journey into Mystery I#19/5) - In those days in Salem lived John Burton, who had the power to sense the presence of a witch in his vicinity. When the villager, who had seen Malloy at the cauldron, went to Burton's house to tell what he had seen, he discovered that John already knew. So, John set up the hunt for the witch.

    The villagers, armed with torches, reached the shack of the widow, surprising the old woman. The widow Malloy tried to convince them of her innocence, but the villagers had already been warned by Burton, so their hardened hearts did not listen to Malloy's words. The woman, old and weak, died screaming "You have erred", when her heart was failing.
   The sudden event persuaded the villagers not to continue their punishment and they left the shack without burning the witch's corpse, leaving Burton behind without a torch. They could not know that the spirit of Malloy was still present, and this was their "error". After a few minutes, the spirit rose from the corpse, its transparent form floated and reached John Burton, who was going to take a torch. It took a moment of dizziness and a brief blackening of the senses to take possession of the man's body.

   John Burton was no more, and the witch knew that nobody would guess that she was a witch in such a form. "He" went to John Burton's house, to rest and make plans to become the most powerful witch of all of New England. However, he did not know that the power that John Burton had was hereditary in Burton's family. Burton's son Paul had the same power, a power that drove him to put ablaze Burton house, without knowing that inside there was his father's body and the spirit of a witch. Then she knew that she was doomed.

Comments: Created by Ed Winiarski (artist).

Profile by Spidermay.

John, Paul and Samuel Burton have no known connections to:

The witch Malloy has no known connections to:

John Burton

John Burton

    John Burton possessed the mystic power of sensing the presence of a witch. The power had been present in male members of the Burton family for several hundreds years, when it was first discovered, or "sensed", by Samuel Burton.
    The power also affected the normal body functions, causing fury, cold sweat, strong repeated pulsation at the temples, breathing by gasps, and a spring to action so strong that Burton could not rest until the witch was burned.

    John Burton had lived in England, and had tried to deny his odd heritage leaving Europe with his family, hoping that in America there were no witches.

    But he was wrong. In Salem there were wiches, and he became the most vehement of all the witch-haters of the town.

    He usually told the story of Samuel Barton to his son Paul. Samuel was the first of the family to discover the witch-sensing power and the first to kill a witch by fire, but Paul was very skeptical and did not want to follow his father's wishes.

    One night, John felt that a witch was near. Few minutes later, a villager told to John that he had seen a witch using her cauldron. John sprung into action, gathered other witch-hunters and went to the shack of the witch Malloy. Once there, he menaced the witch, but she was too old, and her heart was too weak, and she died from the strain. John wanted to burn the corpse, as the tradition wanted it, and as his power urged him to do, but the villagers were ashamed to do such a thing, and were resoluted to bury the body, the day after. John did not succeed in convincing them, so he had to leave to look for a torch. He was actually right, because the few minutes lost in the search enabled the spirit of the witch to leave her dead body. The spirit found the human being closest to the shack, John Burton, and possessed him. John Burton's conscience was submerged by Malloy's and died.

--Journey into Mystery I#19/5

Samuel Burton

Samuel Burton

   Presumably alive during the 15th century Samuel Barton was the first of the Burton family to discover the power of sensing witches in his vicinity.

    Burton, a yeoman living in England, was going back home during a night when he heard the scream of a girl. His power directed him to the place where a witch was kidnapping a girl. He pushed the witch to the ground, and before she could use her powers on the courageous hunter, Burton used his torch to set fire to the witch and the dry bushes around her. The fiend died in the fire.
    The maiden was so impressed that she spread word in England of the deed performed by Burton: witches could be killed by fire.
    And Burton was the first to discover that weapon against those fiends.

    But that action had consequences. The witches took their revenge putting Samuel's house on fire, killing his whole family, while Sam was away. The result was that Samuel swore to destroy all the witches, and became a witch-hunter. He remarried, gave up farming, and uncovered many other witches with his powers.

--Journey into Mystery I#19/5

Paul burton

Paul Burton

    Paul Burton, as his father John, had the power of sensing witches in his proximity.

    Paul knew the history of Samuel, his ancestor, but was more devoted to practical things, and had not accepted his heritage.

    He was present when his father left to go hunting for the widow Malloy, that same night he had expressed his skepticism about witch-hunting.
    Later that same night his powers manifested so strongly that he could deny them no more. He sensed the presence of a witch in the house where his father lived, and acted as all the Burtons acted before him: putting the house on fire! Paul unwittingly burned his father's body, but also killed the witch Malloy, who had possessed his father.

--Journey into Mystery I#19/5

images: (without ads)
Journey into Mystery I#19/3, p5, pan2 (Malloy possessing Paul Burton's body)
Journey into Mystery I#19/3, p4, pan5 (witch Malloy, head shot)
Journey into Mystery I#19/3, p1, pan2 (John Burton, sensing the presence of a witch, head shot)
Journey into Mystery I#19/3, p2, pan7 (Samuel Barton burning a witch)
Journey into Mystery I#19/3, p2, pan1 (Paul, skeptic, head shot)

Journey into Mystery I#19/5 (November, 1955) - Ed Winiarski (artist), Stan Lee (editor)

Last updated: 02/05/17

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