The Salem Witch Hysteria Essay

3426 words - 14 pages

The Salem Witch Hysteria

Hundreds of years ago something, that was considered one of the darkest and most tragic events in all of American history, began in 1692; The Salem Witch Hysteria.
In the beginning, before the trials ever began or were even thought of was something every witch is greatly aware of, The Inquisition. It was the catholic tribunal's way of exposing and punishing those that they called 'Religiously Unorthodox'. By 430 AD there came a civil code that ordered death sentences and cruel punishments to anyone who believed in something that was supposedly against the beliefs of Roman Catholicism. Sorcery was considered great heresy. Many years later this so-called civil code of the Inquisition was made law and so began The Salem Witch Hysteria.
It was the year 1692, §alem Village Massachusetts, the actions taking place there were quite ironic. Before the Salem witch trials were ever even speculated about, the Puritans had been coming to America to escape the harsh religious persecutions undergoing in England. They came here to be able to live and worship freely, without fear but they ended up doing something I believe to be most unthinkable. The Puritans caused the English persecutions, that they had been running from, to occur all over again only this time it was Salem Village and the Puritans were the persecutioners. They punished people for worshiping a religion that was not evil, just simply different from theirs, and of course that religion was Witchcraft.
It all began with a group of young girls who became enwrapped in the stories of Tituba. She was a West India slave to the village minister Samuel Parris, and she was very conversant in the lores of magic. Tituba told the girls many stories of natural magic and the island culture. The girls continually listened to her stories knowing that it was violating their puritan morality. "With all of the talking the girls did of this so called 'natural magic' they were finally accused of heresy and proclaimed the 'witches' of Salem Village". 1
The first warrant was issued for the arrests of 6 girls and Tituba on February 29th, 1692. The 6 girls were Abigail Williams, Elizabeth Parris, Elizabeth Hubbard, Ann Pulman, Mary Walcot, and Marcy Lewis. These girls were questioned and eventually released after they had all accused two different girls, Sarah Good and Sarah Osbourne, of being the perpetrators of their so-called "bewitchment", along with Tituba. Sarah Osbourne was released but Tituba and Sarah Good were both put in jail until someone paid Tituba's jail bill, she was released and never seen again, while Sarah was sentenced to death. Some believed that Sarah Good was accused of witchcraft, like many others, because she was considered "socially undesirable".
Many accusations occurred after the first warrant. People would claim that others were witches because they weren't attractive or because they had a fight with them or for any number of reasons...

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