While most people are familiar with the notorious Salem Witch Trials in 1692, many people are unaware that similar events were taking place in other parts of New England in the very same year. The book, Escaping Salem: The Other Witch Hunt of 1692, takes readers through an intriguing narrative of a young girl with claims of being bewitched. Although I was concerned at first about the book being in a narrative style, the author was very concise and used actual evidence from the trial to tell an accurate and interesting story. Escaping Salem: The Other Witch Hunt of 1692 is about a witch trial that took place in Stamford, Connecticut in 1692; the same year as the Salem Witch Trials, which are considered to be quite a dark topic of early history in America. While obviously there were some similarities between the two cases, the way in which the trials were handled differ greatly.
Superstition and the Witch-hunts in Early Modern Britain The people of Early Modern Britain were deeply superstitious and this aspect to their character had a major bearing on the course that the events of the witch-hunts took. The belief in witches was as illogical as many of the other beliefs that were popularly held in Early Modern Britain. The populous held many beliefs that were not based on fact. These beliefs would be very old and passed on from generation and built in to the character of every person. People had always believed in witches throughout Europe but there had not been any official attempt to exterminate them as a group.
Nobody can actually tell us what happened during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. We can go over websites and read as many books as we want but everyone has different theories. A different outlook on the Witch Trials from someone else’s perspective is a huge help to curious minds. No matter how many times someone says “oh I came up with a theory to the Salem epidemic”, nobody can actually say what happened in Salem, one of the possibilities was Ergot, a fungus found in rye. Some would say ergot poisoning wasn’t a possibility but some would agree because the weather conditions were right, the symptoms were spot on, and the location of the afflicted matched where ergot grew best.
When one evokes The Salem Witch Trials of 1692, the image that comes to most peoples minds are that of witches with pointed hats riding broomsticks. This is not helped by the current town of Salem, Massachusetts, which profits from the hundreds of thousands of tourists a year by mythologizing the trials and those who were participants. While there have been countless books, papers, essays, and dissertations done on this subject, there never seems to be a shortage in curiosity from historians on these events. Thus, we have Bernard Rosenthal's book, Salem Story: Reading the Witch Trials of 1692, another entry in the historiographical landscape of the Salem Witch Trials. This book, however, is different from most that precede it in that it does not focus on one single aspect, character, or event; rather Rosenthal tells the story of Salem in 1692 as a narrative, piecing together information principally from primary documents, while commenting on others ideas and assessments.
That statement is hard for me (and some of my peers) to fully comprehend. In fact in my western culture magic is often immediately dismissed as not true, or something only children believe in. During these past two months magic, for me, has undergone a transformation from total fiction to a truly impactful phenomenon. I now understand that magic is incredibly hard to define and make sense of, but in this essay I will attempt to do exactly
“Before the outbreak at Salem Village, trials for witchcraft had been fairly common events in colonial America, but they had not invariably resulted in executions or even in conviction.” The other reason the trials are so famous, is the highlight of this paper about proving that the trials were just an act put on by the children who started this outbreak. “Only in 1692 did the accusations multiply so quickly and develop an entire community.” On February the 29, 1691/1692, the warrant for the arrest of Sarah Good was handed to Constable George Locker, who would go to the home of William and Sarah Good and arrest her. It was written in her warrant, that she had displayed witchcraft on the children of the village: Elizabeth Paris, Abigail Williams, Anne Putnam, and Elizabeth Hubert were the children involved. An interesting point however, is that the children did not make the complaint to the courts. It was the fathers and relatives of Joseph Hutchinson, Thomas Putnam, Edward Putnam, and Thomas Preston that went to the courts and made the complaint for the children.
That is what all started the Salem witch trials, but what people today don’t know is if the original accusers were acting or if they were mental. There is no way to know for sure what was happening to the accusers during the witch trials or why they started in the first place, but there are a some interesting theories. The first theory is the either both girls had some mental disease. That theory is unlikely, b...
However, from 1560 to 1670, witchcraft persecution became a concentrated epidemic throughout New England. There are many theories as to the origins of these trials and superstitions, but none that provide justified reasoning as to why they should have occurred. During the winter months of 1692, Betty Paris and her cousin Abigail Williams began to have fits described as being beyond natural causes. They complained of being pinched and pricked with pins, but no physical evidence could be found. Other young women in Salem began to exhibit similar behaviors.
That year marked the onset of the hysterics behind the witchcraft trials. Because Salem was such a conservative yet opinionated society, the delusion of Satan affected and effected everyone in similar ways. To understand some of the reasons behind the hysteria, you have to know a little about the people who settled the area of Salem Village. Mainly Puritans inhabited Salem Village and there were very few other religions at that time. The Puritans left England to escape religious persecution.
Some believe that girls were lying, while some believe that a physical ailment was the cause. This book was great for a reader who wanted to find several opinions on what took place in Salem. If the reader wanted to know just the basic facts of the Salem Witch Trials then I would not recommend this book. Witchcraft at Salem requires a general knowledge of what happened during the witch trials because it goes very in depth. This book might be confusing to someone who slept in high school history or english and knows nothing of what happened at Salem during 1962.