Amish Ways

The #1 Scariest Reason Why Amish People Don’t Need Halloween

Saturday, October 26th, 2019

by Vicki Nemeth
Amish people don’t celebrate Hallowe’en, but their Anabaptist history is scary enough. The Anabaptists originally lived in Europe in a time when European countries didn’t have freedom of religion. When church authority combined with political authority, people in power did horrifying things to people they considered heretics. You can read about Anabaptist martyrs in Book 2 of Martyrs Mirror which, after the Bible, is the most important book in most Amish homes.

Be careful of the disturbing content in Martyrs Mirror

You might want to reserve Martyrs Mirror for the adults in your home. It has detailed descriptions and illustrations of torture. It’s not surprising that its other name is The Bloody Theater.

Martyrs Mirror, Book 2, page 10: Burning of Leonard Kayser, Scharding, 1527

The art style of Martyrs Mirror consists of realistic black and white etchings. Very little of the art is embellished with heavenly symbolism. It’s just plain and simple torture. The most shocking pictures show gore and suffering without holding back. Other images are merely disturbing, showing an arrest and the acceptability of persecution in seventeenth-century society. Some show the aftermath for families grieving for their martyred loved ones.
Book 2 focuses on Anabaptist martyrs, but Book 1 is just as shocking and details the martyrdoms of Christians from the first century all the way up into the middle ages. While Book 1 documents martyrdoms that predate the founding of Anabaptism, the martyrs it covers are thought to have had beliefs similar to Anabaptists.
What sets Martyrs Mirror apart from other martyrdom literature, such as hagiographies or Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, is its focus on Christians who are believed to have refused to defend themselves. It’s no surprise that Amish communities today practice pacifism. The book’s most famous martyr who refused to defend himself is Dirk Willems.

Who was Dirk Willems?

Dirk Willems is the most famous Anabaptist in "Martyr's Mirror" for saving a prison guard he was running from
In 1569, Dirk escaped from prison. While running from prison guards he was light enough to cross a frozen pond. But a guard who tried to chase him across fell through the ice. Dirk could have left him there. Instead, he turned around and helped the guard out of the water. Even then, the guard wouldn’t let him go. He re-arrested Dirk, and the authorities later burned him at the stake. The text describes how much pain Dirk went through and doesn’t gloss over it.
The illustration of Dirk saving the guard is frank. It doesn’t depict him having a superhuman aesthetic or a halo. It’s just him reaching for a man who has fallen through the ice. Even the trees are scraggy and leafless. By using realistic line drawing, Martyrs Mirror focuses on normal, everyday people who are not magical.

Martyrs Mirror Book 2 Page 812: Persecution in Switzerland

Martyrs Mirror, Book 2, Page 812: Persecution in Switzerland, 1637

When you look at the pictures and read the accounts in Martyrs Mirror, you understand why so many Anabaptists moved to America where they could have religious freedom. As a matter of fact, settlers in what is now Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, translated Martyrs Mirror from Dutch into German in 1749. You could say Americans adopted this Dutch book into American culture.
Martyrs Mirror is a religious book, and it does teach about the theology motivating its martyrs’ perseverance. It’s also critical of the Catholic Church before 1660. At over 1100 pages, it’s an ambitious reading project. Likewise, the English translation is from the 1800s, so it’s not the easiest book to read.
Unlike modern-day Hallowe’en, Martyrs Mirror doesn’t make light of pain, gore, and death. But it does warn readers to take human fragility seriously, and along with that, their right to freedom of conscience.


9 Myths Busted About the So-called Amish Simple Life

Saturday, September 21st, 2019


by Vicki Nemeth


The mainstream narrative tends to portray Amish life as idyllic. “If I could just join the Amish, I wouldn’t have all these modern problems!” people say.


9 Myths Busted About the So-called Amish Simple Life



Why Buying Amish Furniture on the Internet Is More Ethical Shopping

Friday, December 7th, 2018


by Vicki Nemeth


Econo Dining Chair in oak with Wheat stain from Amish Furinture FactoryLynne from Michigan bought some oak Econo Dining Chairs with Wheat stain. Because wood comes from trees that were living and growing in unique environments, even the simplest crafts from solid wood are individualized. North American growing conditions show in the distinguished oak woodgrain of the chair Lynne sent us a picture of.


Lynne’s purchase was small enough to fit in her car, so she wondered how to save on shipping. That’s when we realized that one of the workshops that make the Econo Chair was close enough for Lynne to drive. So she decided to tour Amish country and pick up the chairs herself at a builder’s workshop. Here’s where Lynne tells her story:


I am very satisfied with the quality of the chairs I ordered through you. They are beautifully constructed and finished, and comfortable to sit in.



The 5 Best Activities Near Pennsylvania Amish Country

Thursday, June 29th, 2017


Without a doubt, Pennsylvania Amish Country has many attractions that consistently draw locals and tourists alike. Those interested in the Amish lifestyle, Amish crafts and, of course, some tasty Amish food flock to the area. But what about when you’re visiting and want to do something outside the world of the Amish. Are there other kinds of activities for tourists? The answer is definitely yes.


The Best Amish YouTube Videos

Sunday, March 19th, 2017


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When you think about watching YouTube videos, you may not immediately think about the Amish. Traditionally, the Amish shy away from digital technology. But with that stated, however, the there are many good Amish related videos on YouTube. If you’re looking to gain insight into the day to day life of Amish people, videos are a great place to start.


Just as YouTube is a source of learning and information on a range of topics, the same holds true for learning more about Amish life and Amish culture. No matter what aspect of Amish life you are interested in learning more about, the odds are excellent that YouTube stands as an unexpected source of information. In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the best Amish videos on YouTube. You’ll find that the diversity of these videos is surprising and impressive.


The 5 Best Amish Cookbooks

Saturday, February 18th, 2017


 The 5 Best Amish Cookbooks - Amish Furniture Factory


If you are familiar with Amish cooking, then you already know that it is really something special that should be treasured. Amish cooking isn’t about blending a wide range of ingredients. Instead it focuses on utilizing a small number of ingredients and blending them with harmonious results. Add to that the fact that Amish cooking also focuses on using the freshest ingredients and the end result is something uniquely yummy.


How Do the Amish Approach Healthcare?

Saturday, January 21st, 2017



The Amish have definitive views on healthcare. In the eyes of the Amish people, God is the ultimate healer. As a result of this view, many Amish do not opt for modern healthcare practices.


In addition, it is common for the Amish to be uncomfortable with and actively avoid settings where technology is a key component. The Amish view of modern healthcare has many implications. At the top of the list of those implications is the fact that the Amish are more willing and more likely to suffer with medical issues.


5 Best Amish Restaurants

Sunday, December 25th, 2016

5 Best Amish Restaurants - Amish Furniture Factory

The Amish love food and it shows. The love of Amish food is about more than the foods that they actually prepare. When exploring the savory delights of the Amish world, it is important to take a step back and look at the whole picture and not just the process of preparation.


Amish food isn’t just about following steps and recipes. The delicious results of Amish cooking is, in part, the result of a concrete strategy, one built around cultivating the best ingredients. In Amish cooking there is an emphasis on using fresh ingredients.



What Can the Amish Teach Us About Allergy Remediation?

Monday, November 21st, 2016

Amish people are practically allergy-free


For those who suffer from allergies, an average day can seem like anything but, well, average. Regardless of the source of allergies, suffering can be quite pronounced. Finding relief of any kind can be highly elusive. There are many theories behind why the immune system responds and creates allergies.



5 Health Tips You Can Learn from the Amish

Friday, October 21st, 2016


Here are 5 health tips you can learn from the Amish


The Amish live a different way of life and can provide us with a range of different approaches to how we live our lives. The traditional wisdom of the Amish can provide us with tremendous insight into how we should approach health. Let’s take a closer look at five of the top health tips that we can learn and how best to incorporate those tips into our day to day lives.