Skip to main content

The Yankee Express

The Magician of Marblehead

Dec 24, 2020 02:49PM ● By Thomas D’Agostino

There are many varied tales of Edward (or John) Dimon (Dimond, Diamond). None of them always tend entirely to substantiate the other. One thing is a fact, Dimon existed and was known by many to be the “Magician of Marblehead,” or “Wizard Dimon.”

   Dimon was born in 1641 and lived in Marblehead during the time of the Salem Witch Trials. He died in the same town in 1732 at age ninety-one. If one considers that he was known for his magical conjuring, then perhaps there were actual enchanters among the colonists during the witch hysteria, and maybe even before. Dimon, a retired sea captain, lived in a house near Burial Hill at 42 Orne Street called “The Brig.” It was in the graveyard where he would stand upon the highest precipice during the raging storms and summon the powers that fueled his magic. Dimon, cape swirling in the howling winds and rains, harnessed the forces of nature while calling out to the ships at sea. Many sailors returning home swore they heard Dimon’s voice reverberating over the wind and raging seas, guiding them toward safer waters. Some claimed to see his face in the storm clouds as his voice commanded their ship to calm waters.

    According to legend, during these stormy encounters, he could see every vessel at sea that hailed from Marblehead, calling each ship and crew by name while commanding the wind and rain to subside until the ships were back in their home harbor. Many local families visited the wizard, hoping he could watch over their loved ones while they were away at sea. Some narrations regard him as a vengeful soul, stating if he took favor in a certain captain, the ship would see port no matter how dreadful the storms they encountered. If the captain or crew had taken to his wrong side, the vessel was never seen again; this may be an embellishment of the tale because no one in the village could ever attest to him being anything but endearing to his fellow Marblehead mariners.

    Dimon’s powers were not all concentrated on the sea. A poor widow once came to Dimon for help regarding a thief that stole all her firewood for the winter. She was too impoverished to afford another load necessary to keep her meager cottage warm for the upcoming winter. Dimon used his powers to expose the culprit, then put a spell on the man to teach him a lesson. The thief was forced to walk back and forth from his house to the widow’s house, from sunrise to sunset, with a massive log attached to his back that he could not remove. By morning, he was overly exhausted and had indeed learned a lesson on stealing from the poor, defenseless widow. In no time, all the widow’s wood, and then some, was returned with a sincere apology.

   It is interesting to note that Dimon was the grandfather of the renowned fortune-teller Moll Pitcher, born in Marblehead c.1736 and died in Lynn in 1813. Pitcher came from a long line of seers and was known far and wide for her ability to read tea leaves and predict the future. She is buried in West Lynn Burial Ground, where a monument erected in 1887 marks her grave.