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Salem

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The Salem Witchcraft Trials:
A Time of Fear and Confusion

Imagine, just for a minute, living in a time and place where you are not free to practice your own religious or spiritual beliefs and you are forced to live in fear because of persecution by the church and everyone around you. Persecution back in 1692 in Salem Massachusetts was a very real, very serious thing. Those persecuted were hanged, burned, and even pressed against rocks if found guilty of witchcraft. The Salem Witchcraft Trials stands as one of the darkest times in American history of religious tolerance.
The Salem Witchcraft Trails were caused and continued by various events and people. Diseases, natural catastrophes, misfortune, and deaths seemed to be around every corner for the people that lived in Salem. Instead of writing these events off as bad luck people in Salem blamed these horrible things on the Devil. The people of the town believed that the Devil recruits witched and wizards to do his work for him. As soon as something bad happened, the God-fearing people of Salem were quick to blame it on a witch or wizard. Anything a little out of the ordinary like children claiming to see things that someone else could not was blamed on a witch. The people seemed to be always out to find a witch in hopes of stopping their misfortunes. They believed that once the witch was executed all the bad luck they were experiencing would disappear. Since their bad luck never disappeared their witch hunt would not soon be satisfied.
The whole tragic trials were apparently started when several young girls were found playing with a ball made of crystal. Only trying to escape their punishment, they claimed to have been forced to do so by a witch. The church tried to seek out and punish the witch or wizard responsible for tormenting the girls and thus started this whole out of control event. The minister of the town, Samuel Parris, not only didn’t help the problem, but added fuel to the fire by telling the town that witches were everywhere and that no one could be trusted. Since people were allowed to testify in court about spirits talking to them, everyone backstabbed each other in order to financially gain another’s property. If you were convicted of being a witch the only way to escape death was to confess.
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