In 1679 Bishop had been accused of practicing witchcraft, but was rescued by the testimony of her minister, John Hale. Later, in 1687, she was again accused, and again acquitted.
Bishop's temper alone was enough to make her suspect. All the community knew that often when her second husband bounced his wagon across the stream to their house, a loud and bitter argument followed.
William Stacy recalled that at age twenty-two he had been stricken with smallpox and that it was Bishop who nursed him back to health. (Bishop was said to have had power over men, which grew as she became older.) Later, however, Stacy had begun to doubt Bishop, and had talked with others about her. For this, he said, Bishop had plagued him
Bishop's own testimony worked against her too. She was found guilty of telling lies, since some of the details she gave conflicted with what others said. Also, according to the court, early questioning had supposedly shown knowledge of witchcraft, yet Bishop claimed to have no knowledge of it.
Any evidence in Bishop's favor was not allowed. While they were in jail, Bishop had asked Mary Warren, one of the other accused witches, about the claims made against Bishop. Warren told Bishop that the girls had manufactured the evidence against her.
Bishop was found guilty of witchery and sentenced to be hanged, but hanging was forbidden by an old Massachusetts law. Conveniently, an old colonial law that made witchcraft a life-or-death offense was "discovered" and, on June 8, 1692, again passed into law. On June 10, High Sheriff George Cowan reported that he had hanged Bridget Bishop on Gallow Hill from the branch of a large oak tree.