The Witches of Islandmagee: A Graphic Novel launches to great success in Belfast
A new supernatural graphic novel based upon the Islandmagee witch trials
22 Mar 2023
17 min read
A brand new supernatural graphic novel, developed by Dr. Victoria McCollum and Dr. Andrew Sneddon, launched this month to a sell-out audience at Forbidden Planet, Belfast.
Sold out within one hour
The Witches of Islandmagee loaded with haunting visuals set in a misty isolated town off the coast of County Antrim, sold out within one hour.
In the novel, it’s 1711, a woman with demons of her own – has begun a quest to root the evil out of her village. The stakes are real. The Devil is real. This is a spine-tingling feminist folktale of fear and faith set in Northern Ireland.
Funding for the graphic novel
The graphic novel was funded through Victoria McCollum’s application to the Civic Impact Fund and is based on the successful history of Islandmagee witches by Andrew Sneddon, Possessed By the Devil: The Islandmagee Witches And Ireland’s Only Mass Witchcraft Trial (Dublin 2013), for which a second addition will soon be released.
“The Witches of Islandmagee is a well-researched rural horror set in the early 18th century in rural Ireland. A witch trial that is recounted as though real, with supernatural solicitings and evocative art that transports the readers to a darker time in Irish, and British, history.”
Olly Macnamee, ComiCon, 2023
A unique part of Irish cultural heritage
The Islandmagee Witch Trial is a unique part of Irish cultural heritage and the project is dedicated to uncovering the importance of this trial of eight women and one man, how it was represented and remembered, and how people can derive meaning from these traumatic historical events.
The project team are working with Mid and East Antrim District Council to launch, later in the year, a first-of-its-kind exhibition at Carrickfergus Museum, and release a bespoke and unusual VR app in partnership with Sentireal NI (funded by Connected NI).
The VR experience uses immersive technologies to shorten the distance between cultural spaces and visitors engaging with the histories of place and intangible cultural heritage: specifically the history of the trials.
Users are placed on site at Islandmagee and experience both the consequences of being bewitched, and of being branded a witch. They also have the opportunity to explore the context of the witch trials, through a series of hand-drawn 2D animations produced by the team and Enter Yes, NI.