The Salem Witch Trails
A dark time in American history could be easily recognized in the chaos and mass hysteria stirred up during the Salem Witch Trials in 1692, when many people lost their lives due to crazed accusations and extremist religious beliefs. Today Salem is known as the home of The Salem Witch Trails. Many people visit places like Gallows Hill and the House where they held the accusation meetings. Salem’s rich history makes it a very popular tourist attraction today.
All the chaos began when a few young girls began having strange fits. These girls would fall to the floor and have seizures. They would also scream out if anyone touched them. Nobody could explain it. The Doctors could find no cause. They had never seen a illness like it before. The villagers began to believe it was the work of the devil. That Satan had entered Salem. They also feared one more thing, Witchcraft. (Magoon 7) Religion played a big part in this hysteria. The Puritan religion believed that bible was gods law, and it also provided a plan for there life. The people of Salem believed that witches and witchcraft was a big threat. The thought that witches could control their mind and body and make them do crazy things. They were determined to rid Salem of the devil.
The chaos was not only in Salem. Communities throughout New England were concerned about witchcraft. All throughout there were accusations about witches in the community. In Salem most of the accused were very prominent people in the community while most of the accusers were from the rural part of Salem. Some of the girls who were part of Tituba’s circle had lost a parent in an Indian raid and accused the prosperous women in the community. (“The Salem Witch Trails (1600…”)
There were a group of girls who made most of the accusations during the trails. They knew that there religion didn’t allow them to be part of witchcraft. They told everyone that Tituba and two other women from the village had made them do it and that they were witches. After the first accusations the girls went on a “spree of witch identification” (Salem Witch Trails) Abigail Williams and Mary Warren were two of the girls who contributed to the trails the most. They were a major influence on how the trails played out. Because Abigail and Mary claimed to be possessed and controlled by witches in the town, it resulted in a Witch hunt and over one hundred and fifty deaths.
Other people were also a big part of the trails. Thomas Putnam was a resident of Salem Village and a significant accuser in the trails. He was a wealthy, influential citizen in Salem. Reverend John Hale was a young minister who studied witchcraft he was also one of the most well distinguished churchmen in New England. (Nardo 82) Reverend Parris was the minister of Salem’s church. Parris was one of the most influential figures in Salem; the persecution of "witches" began in his household.
The accusations began about mid-February when a Doctor named William...