The Mystery of Witch Island

Witch Island Map
Image courtesy of DavidRumsey.com

A reader posed a question on our Facebook page the other day, and we were wondering if anyone could shed light on the topic.

Adventures & Aesthetics wrote this on our wall:

“Hello readers, We were wondering if anyone knows why Flanagan Island was known as Witch Island on old charts? I did a quick web crawl and was unable to uncover the legend .. except that Pelican Island may have also had the same moniker … or maybe another witch!”

Flanagan Island is a small, unihabited island located between St. John’s East End and Norman Island. Check it out on a map here.

One of our readers responded and said, “The English language charts I have seen generally show ‘Flanagan’ Island to the early 1900s. Prior to that (and the US purchase of the islands), you can see Witch Island.

So that begs the question…when and why did the name change occur? And why was it initially named Witch Island?

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