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The Salem Witch Trials: The Beginning Of The Hysteria

858 words - 4 pages

The Salem Witch Trails in Massachusetts could be considered a horrendous, dramatic event. The European settlers from England passed the tales of fairies, vampires, and of course, witches, to the newer generations. Later, frightened neighbors accused one another of The Devil's Magic (Blumberg). It was children cursing each other, and adults accusing one another.
There has been a belief of witches for thousands of years. Europeans were very superstitious between the 1300s and 1700s. Tens of thousands of people were executed for being convicted of witchcraft, therefore, the colonists of modern day Danvers, Massachusetts, exposure to the beliefs caused them to brutally execute each other. (Blumberg and Linder).
In early January of 1692, the nine-year-old Betty Parris and her cousin, Abigail Williams, began having nightmares, acting like animals, complaining of strange pricks in their skin, wailing like "a banshee from the afterlife,” and contorting into shapes that wasn’t natural to a human (Blumberg). It was said that supernatural forces were confiding in them, and everyone’s fear came alive when the girls mentioned witches. Tituba, an Indian slave, taught her Caribbean voodoo-inspired magic to local girls, putting the idea of witchcraft in their minds (Aronson, 1). She was never trusted among the town because she was a foreign slave. Basic common “voo-doo magic” used in modern-day shows were the “incapable witchcraft” of the 1600’s.
On February 29, 1692, Tituba, Sarah Osborne, and Sarah Good were accused of The Devil’s Magic by the group of girls (Linder). Women were thought to have been more likely to be a witch, because women were considered lustful towards the Devil by nature (Blumberg). Tituba confessed to being a witch, and told stories of flying through the air on brooms with Sarah Osborne and Sarah Good (Mastin). The town was horrified, as anyone would be, not knowing if it was a hoax or a true nightmare. As a precaution of the trials, the officials would shave the assumed witch and try to find a “witch’s teat” or the “Devil’s mark.” If one was found, they would poke a needle into it, and see if it bled, ichor or blood (Mastin). If the witch bled ichor, they would be immediately doomed to the gallows.
The “Witch’s Teat Test” wasn’t the only form of interrogation or torture. There were many other graphic, gruesome ways to interrogate a witch. An example was “The Dunking”. The Dunking was when a witch was strapped on to a plank, and...

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