The family-history experts at ancestry.com have discovered the actress' distant relative may have been a sorceress in real life. According to English records, Joan Playle lived in Essex County, England, during the 16th century and was convicted of witchcraft in 1592.
It is not known for a fact whether Playle really was a witch. Records, however, indicate she was not executed for her alleged crimes but was excommunicated from the Church of England. In Elizabethan times, women were more susceptible to being accused of witchcraft if they were poor, widowed or single. It appears Watson's distant family member was one of 270 known people who were accused and tried for witchcraft in England under the rule of Queen Elizabeth I.