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|“||Do you not see, when hunting witches, far better a hundred innocents die than a single solitary witch walks free!||”|
— Increase Mather to Cotton[src]
Reverend Increase Mather was a formidable Witch Hunter and father to Cotton Mather. After burning scores of witches in Essex and hindered the Grand Rite headed by a Pagan Siren in Germany before Cotton was born, Increase Mather proved to be a major obstacle to Mary Sibley's plans, and then the solution to them.
Increase was a recurring character portrayed by Stephen Lang.
Increase Mather was once one of the most famous and cruel witch hunters from both the Old World and the New World. He was the cause of death of thousands of witches throughout Europe, including the wicked German witches, those in Essex and much more. Once refused to condemn classmate for witchcraft and this man years later sacrificed two virgins girls in a satanic ritual.
In an unspecified year, he had prevented the success of the Grand Rite by German witches killing their main vain witch, who had taken possession of a six-year-old girl.
Increase Mather was a despotic, cold and violent man. He's one of the most famous and cruel witch hunters, prone to the use of torture and violence, both physical and psychological. Blindly convinced of his beliefs and his cause that doesn't allow anyone to contradict him. His temperament was not softened even with his son, even worse.
Increase Mather was a man at the end of the fifty, austere, with greying hair almost white, a sparse beard and an athletic physique for his age. Increase Mather was always wearing gloves on his hands because his hands were blackened by Hell's fire while strangling the life out of a six-year-old girl whom he believed to be possessed by Satan in the witch trials of the German witches. Wearing a cilice tight to his chest as a sign of repentance for his sins.
Throughout The Salem Series
Skills and Abilities
Increase Mather was a formidable witch hunter, experienced in the most atrocious and perverted forms of torture, for the purpose of extorting confessions even to the most reticent witches. He had a vast knowledge of the literature on witchcraft, although it is possible that he has been exceeded by his son Cotton Mather, as the latter was less narrow-minded than Increase.
As a Puritan Reverend, he was a very skilled orator, able to manipulate large masses of people with his sermons and speeches. Skilled in combat, despite his age, Increase strength and skills are noteworthy, especially considering the fact that he almost always wore a cilice, tight around his chest.
- Main article: Cotton and Increase
|“||Imagine how proud I am to have raised a son so steadfast in his ability to consistently make the wrong decisions.||”|
— Increase to Cotton in Cat And Mouse
- Main article: Mary Sibley/Relationships
|“||He is formidable, the senior Mather, part bully, part bloodhound.||”|
— Mary in Departures
|The Stone Child||Mentioned|
|The Red Rose and the Briar||Absent|
|Our Own Private America||Absent|
|Children Be Afraid||Appears|
|The House of Pain||Absent|
|Cat And Mouse||Appears|
|All Fall Down||Appears|
|Book of Shadows||Absent|
|The Wine Dark Sea||Absent|
|Ill Met by Moonlight||Appears|
|The Beckoning Fair One||Appears|
|Wages of Sin||Absent|
|Til Death Do Us Part||Absent|
|On Earth as in Hell||Absent|
|Midnight Never Come||Absent|
|The Witching Hour||Absent|
|After the Fall||Absent|
|The Heart Is A Devil||Absent|
|Night's Black Agents||Absent|
|The Commonwealth of Hell||Absent|
|The Man Who Was Thursday||Voice Only|
- Increase Mather: "Let them no more say “God must do all”, and so encourage themselves to live in a careless neglect of God and of their own souls of salvation! The Devil has made a dreadful knot of witches in the country, and, by the help of witches, has dreadfully Increased that knot. Oh, children, children, be afraid, and go not prayerless to your bed lest the Devil be your bedfellow."
- — Children, Be Afraid
- Increase Mather: "It is true that, and no one will admit, that love is never equal. And in its inequality lies its fragility, for the one who is loved less will one day find love tastes like ashes."
- — The House of Pain
- Increase Mather: "I am a patient man. A witch cannot run forever."
- — Cat and Mouse
- He is based on the real Increase Mather, who was a major figure in the early history of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He was a Puritan minister who was involved with the government of the colony, the administration of Harvard College, and most notoriously, the Salem witch trials. He was the son of Richard Mather, and the father of Cotton Mather, both influential Puritan ministers.
- However, his ruthless and sadistic hunting is more akin to infamous Matthew Hopkins, the self-styled "Witch-Finder General" and the 1968 film of the same name starring Vincent Price.
- Seven of the thirteen victims of the Grand Rite were killed on Increase's orders; the three members of the Barker family, and four followers of Mercy Lewis.
- Adam Simon & Brannon Braga (writer) & David Von Ancken (director). April 20, 2014. "Our Own Private America". Salem. Season 1. Episode 7. WGN.
- Jon Harmon Feldman (writer) & Alex Zakrzewski (director). June 8, 2014. "Departures". Salem. Season 1. Episode 8. WGN.
- Adam Simon & Joe Menosky (writer) & David Von Ancken (director). June 22, 2014. "The House of Pain". Salem. Season 1. Episode 10. WGN.