Although this article is based on canonical information, the actual name of this subject is conjectural.
Puppetry is the ability to manipulate the body, and possibly the mind, of people to move them against their will, or act according to the witch's will.
All witches are capable of influencing people, both phisically and mentally. Most of the characters of Salem used their familiars to gain control over someone, usually introducing the "animal" into the victim's throat. There are also spells that grant this kind of power, but it looks like only powerful witches can perform them without the aid of their familiars. In this universe, spells can apparently "evolve" in what are called "powers" and witches experienced in this practice become capable of casting them by mere thinking. When under this kind of spells, the victims appear to remain conscious while their bodies are being controlled, though some didn't show any real resistance nor the ability to speak, probably meaning that, once mastered, this power allows a complete control over people. With this practice, it seems like witches can also influence someone's mind, may it be emotions or thoughts, but so far we have seen it being limited by the subject personality. It looks like the Countess may be capable of using this kind of magic through a form of seduction, to gain the favours of influencing men, such as Hathorne.
An advanced form of this ability allows witches to momentarily place their victims in a form of paralysis that renders them unable to move, yet leaves them aware of their surroundings. It was first seen when Sebastian von Marburg placed John Alden in a paralysis of sorts, while forcing him to watch his sexual encounter with Mary in the process. Anne later on used the same ability to paralyze Glorianna after the latter tried to attack her after finding out that Anne stole her unborn child through magic. Thus far, this ability was only demonstrated by two cradle witches of a royal and ancient bloodline, implying that not all witches are capable of performing it.
- Mercy achieved this through Astral Projection in the first season, resulting in a sort of possession. The victim was completelly conscious and tried to fight back the presence inside her. Mercy has also given proof that she mastered this gift when she skillfully manipulated the movements of Magistrate Hathorne, preventing him from walking or talking with a simple wave of her hand, as if she magically lassoed him. She also resortet to Puppetry when she broke Nick Land's bones from afar and she threw him out the window by casting a spell via Cat's Cradle.
- In Book of Shadows, Mary used this on Anne to force her in nearing the well, threatening to make her fell down. It seemed that Mary was actually using an advanced form of Telekinesis to move Anne's body, with jerking movements, just like a puppet.
- A the end of the second season, Anne herself used this power on Cotton to force him on the bed and then open his mouth. In this case the execution of the magic and the movements of the victim were more fluent and he demonstrated little no resistance, just an unfocused, fixed espression on his face.
- Mary and Anne used this power to influence the fight between Cotton and Hathorne, one working on the anger and the other on the goodnes of the reverend, influencing him starting from his personality.
- The Countess could have used this on Hathorne in Salem and on Mr. Elliot in Boston to make them do her bidding with a sort of seduction, meaning a greater experience with this practice.
- Sebastian Von Marburg used this on Anne Hale and threatened her to give her father's book to the Countess, it seemed a development of telekinesis.
- The Devil has influenced a flock of dead crows so that they attacked Tituba wounding her badly. This episode is noteworthy because the Devil has been shown to be capable of raising animals from the dead, then controlling them at will as if they were marionettes moved by invisible strings of his will, showing how these powers are shades of a single great power, that is manipulating events through words or gestures.
- Both Mary and Anne, have used their familiars to accomplish this feat, probably meaning that this is a way to start training in this form of magic rather than spells or rituals.
- To most witches, this power may require the aid of a familiar to have full control over someone, at least for a prolonged period of time, as demonstrated with George Sibley and Cotton Mather.
- If Anne and the Countess are really the two witches possessing this ability as a proper power rather than the extention of another, then this could be considered as an advantage of the born witches.
- It could appear that made witches have to relate on other, more common powers to control someone's body, but even born ones need to use their familiars for prolonged usage of this magic.
- The Countess could be the only witch with the power of influencing the minds and emotions of other people to a seemingly permanent degree, we don't know if she can control the bodies as well.
- This power seems to be used by most witches as an advanced form of telekinesis.