A 19th-century witch who lived near Ottawa

In the 19th century, a real witch lived on the territory of Ottawa. She came from a Gypsy family. Her fate was far from being easy, but despite this, she provided fortune telling services without fail to the citizens of Ottawa and even those in the surrounding areas. Find out more at ottawanka.com.

A witch’s stormy fate

The witch from Ottawa was named Jane Elizabeth Martin. She was born in the late 18th century in Ireland. Her family came from a Gypsy family, with her father being a colonel in the British army.

According to the Gypsy custom, daughters were given in marriage without their consent. Her father ordered Elizabeth Martin to marry his friend. He was an unattractive middle-aged British army soldier. She did not want to marry someone she did not love. However, despite all her coaxing, her parents married her off to that soldier. That said, when Elizabeth was getting married to a British Army soldier, she loved someone else with all her heart. He was a very handsome young man named Robert Harrison. For all her Gypsy family, such an affair was unacceptable. So the young and in love Elizabeth decided to flee to Canada with her man. There they settled near the city of Ottawa and got married. They began their life and had a son. But their peace was interrupted by Robert’s sudden death. Young Elizabeth Martin was left alone to raise her son in an entirely different country.

Elizabeth was indeed a pretty, slender and short girl. She was not alone for a long time. She met a good man, David Barnes, whom she married for the second time. They had several more children. But then David left Elizabeth for no reason. Left alone on the edge of Ottawa, Elizabeth desperately needed money to feed her children. So she began to practice fortune telling and provide various mystical services to the citizens of Ottawa.

Elizabeth Martin’s mystic abilities

In the 19th century, Elizabeth Martin claimed that her mystic abilities were due to her Gypsy lineage as well as the fact that she was the seventh daughter in the family, as was her mother. That is why she had an extraordinary development of her sixth sense.

Elizabeth charged 25 cents for her mystic services. If the visitor did not have this amount, she would accept payment in dried apples or tea. After paying this amount, the visitor received information about their future fate. All her fortune-telling was true. She was nicknamed Mother Barnes among the citizens of Ottawa and had no shortage of clients. She has earned herself an incredible reputation for accurately foretelling events. Things were looking up for her. Elizabeth was able not only to provide for her children but also to buy a new house. Her new home was built of wood and was located south of Ottawa. She continued her rituals for the rest of her life there, on the second floor of her home. It was in a smaller room with a small table on which there was always a cup of tea since fortune telling on tea leaves was very common in the Victorian era.

Entire crowds of people came to her to find out about their future. It was no longer just citizens of Ottawa. People came even from other continents to see her. She received requests from the town elite and ordinary citizens, even police, lawyers and doctors. She served everyone without exception.

Elizabeth Martin also read fortune telling to Ottawa’s highest-ranking officials. It was John A. MacDonald himself, while he was still a prosecutor, who came to her for a session. He wondered about Elizabeth, which city would be the future capital of Canada. The witch answered him that the capital would be Bytown-Ottawa, and he would become the first Prime Minister. A few years later, both of Elizabeth Martin’s prophecies came true.

Elizabeth’s abilities have even helped in solving crimes. Once she prophesied about where the body of a murdered man would be found and who killed him. Before long, the murderer was found and sentenced to death. Elizabeth helped find the hidden treasure and lost personal belongings. She helped find love and solve crimes. Her services were in incredible demand until Elizabeth died in 1886. She died at the age of 92. Elizabeth was buried in an unmarked grave near Ottawa. But soon, locals who revered her mystical powers erected a headstone in her memory.