The Salem, Massachusetts Witch Trails Of 1692

1010 words - 5 pages

During the 1600's, our country was young and starting to grow. Man believed in the

paranormal and thought my things were either and act of God or Satan. The pilgrims believed the

Devil was alive and planned to destroy the pilgrims. At that point in time, those who practiced

Christianity believed that the Devil could give his worshipers special powers to harm others in

return for his loyalty; they were called witches.

In 1692, dark times shadowed the small village of Salem, Massachusetts, it was the

beginning of the dreaded Salem witch trials. Even though this event is called the Salem witch

trials, other counties such as Essex, Ipswich, and Andover in Massachusetts participated as well.

It all started in Salem Village when Reverend Parris' daughter Elizabeth and niece Abigail

started having unexplained fits. The children would scream, throw things, make strange noises,

and bend into almost impossible positions. Because of the lack of medical science and training in

this time period, the village doctor blamed the supernatural. Not long after the girls' doctor visit,

seven other girls exhibited the same symptoms. Some historians believe that the girls could have

suffered from epilepsy, boredom, child abuse, mental illness, or a disease caused by fungus

infected rye bread.

When the children's ailments came to question, they stated that they were bewitched by

three older women. Sarah Good, Sarah Osburn, and a slave called Tituba. The women were

social outcasts which is what made them easy targets for such accusations. The only one who

confessed was Tituba, she stated all three of them were asked to do Satan's dirty work. Once this

was said, a witch hunt started to root out anymore possible witches.

A special court was set up to hear and decide the accused witches' fates . The young girls

who were "bewitched" were called the "afflicted girls." They accused more people of witchcraft

and the accused were immediately jailed. The first person to under go trial was a woman by the

name of Bridget Bishop. She owned a tavern, fought with neighbors, dressed inappropriately,

and entertained guests at all hours of the night. The afflicted girls claimed she hurt them with her

powers and attempted to get them to sign a pact with the Devil. Bishop was found guilty of being

a witch and was the first person to be hanged. She was not the only one who would die as a

supposed witch; later more than two hundred will be imprisoned, several will die in jail, nineteen

will be hang, and one will be pressed to death.

Since many people were accused of practicing witchcraft, tests had to be administered to

determine who was guilty and who was innocent. One very appalling way to determine if

someone was a witch cake. The cake was made with certain ingredients, including the victim's

urine and the cake was then fed to a dog. If the accused was really a witch, they would shriek in

pain. Many...

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