When Lucifer fell, he did not fall alone. They will hunt you until the end of days. Be true. My name is Joan Clayton.
— Joan to Vanessa[src]

Joan Clayton (commonly known as the Cut-Wife) is a minor character in Season 2 of Penny Dreadful. She is a daywalker, who took on the role of hedge witch in the west country after being gifted a plot of land by Oliver Cromwell in 1644.


Joan Clayton was a practitioner of the occult in ages past. She was a prominent figure in a coven, along with her sister Evelyn and other unnamed witches. When Evelyn was seduced by the Devil and led the coven into evil, Joan stood alone in staying true to the principles of those who stayed in the light. She was branded a traitor, and branded literally with a pentacle scorched into her back.

After escaping her old coven, Joan offered solace to Oliver Cromwell after the second battle of Newbury, and was granted a land title in Ballentree Moor in gratitude for her help. There she became the Cut-Wife of Ballentree Moor to the locals, earning that dubious title by aiding young women in ending unwanted extramarital pregnancies.

More than three hundred years after she escaped her old coven near the turn of the century, 1900, the Cut-Wife was approached by Vanessa Ives, a young woman seeking answers to her own inherent ties to the occult. Despite suspicions about the evil that followed Vanessa, she gave her refuge and began to teach her the ways of the daywalkers. Evelyn also sought Miss Ives, and manipulated nearby folk into forming a lynch mob intent on burning the Cut-Wife. She had known her time was near an end, and had already deeded her land and home to Miss Ives, before she surrendered herself to the lynch mob and died in their assault of oil and flame.[1]

Powers and AbilitiesEdit

  • Apotropaic Magic: The practice of creating mystic wards to block evil. The Cut-Wife's primary ward to protect her home is a symbol of her personal totem painted on stone in her own blood.
  • Divination: The ability to acquire knowledge or information through the use of supernatural means
    • Cartomancy: The practice of divination through the use of tarot cards.
    • Clairvoyance: The practice of divination through the perception of emotions, objects, people, or physical phenomena.
  • Herbalist: Joan possesses a comprehensive knowledge of plants and their properties when applied to the human body.
  • Verbis Diablo: Knowledge of the Devil's tongue.
  • Knowledge of Dark Magic: Though she does not practice it herself she has a great understanding of dark magic and knows how to protect against it.
  • Longevity: Joan Clayton has lived for centuries and possibly even thousands of years due to her practice of sorcery. Though since she refuses to dabble in the dark side of magic, her aging was merely slowed down and she does not possess the same Youth/Beauty that dark witches "NightComers" have.


Season 2

Memorable QuotesEdit

Joan Clayton (to Vanessa): We must prepare for battle. When it comes, it comes fully and to the end.

- The Nightcomers

Joan Clayton (to Vanessa): Let this language not become easy in your mouth, or soon it will not be your mouth, but His.

- The Nightcomers


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