Salem Village, Massachusetts was the home of a Puritan community with a strict moral code through 1691. No one could have ever anticipated the unexplainable events that were to ambush the community’s stability. The crisis that took place in Salem in 1962 still remains a mystery, but the accusations made by the young girls could be a result of ergot poisoning or the need for social power; this leads the people of Salem to succumb to the genuine fear of witchcraft.
In Exodus 22:18, it says “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” It was chaos In Salem, Massachusetts, during 1692, 19 people were accused and hanged and one brutally pressed. this is because the puritans believed almost everything the bible said. One subject that the bible covers, is that the Devil is real and really clever, and is able to enter a normal person's body and turn them into a witch. There are three interconnected causes that might have caused the drama, and panic that was the Salem witch trial hysteria, which are: age, gender, and marital status, lying girls and they’re folk tales they made up, and a divided town.
The Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692 were the largest outbreak of witch hunting in colonial New England up to that time. Although it was the largest outbreak, it was not something that was new. Witch-hunting had been a part of colonial New England since the formation of the colonies. Between the years 1648 to 1663, approximately 15 witches were executed. During the winter of 1692 to February of 1693, approximately 150 citizens were accused of being witches and about 25 of those died, either by hanging or while in custody. There is no one clear-cut answer to explain why this plague of accusations happened but rather several that must be examined and tied together. First, at the same time the trials took place, King William's War was raging in present day Maine between the colonists and the Wabanaki Indians with the help of the French. Within this war, many brutal massacres took place on both sides, leaving orphaned children due to the war that had endured very traumatic experiences. Second, many of the witch accusations were based on spectral evidence, most of which were encounters of the accused appearing before the victim and "hurting" them. There were rampant "visions" among the colonies' citizens, which can only be explained as hallucinations due to psychological or medical conditions by virtue of disease, or poisoning.
As we may already know, the town of Salem was subject to an epidemic of the accusations of witchcraft that lasted over ten months. Witchcraft of this time period was not taken lightly. In England alone over 40,000-60,000 people were killed after being found guilty of witchcraft. Needless to say the people found witchcraft as a virus that infected the town. The first cases started off with the daughters of Samuel Parris, the town minister, accusing his slave, Tituba, of being a witch. She claimed that she and others in the town were witches and there was even a wizard. The town broke out in hysteria in further months. Over 100 people were put in jail because of accusations. The council that were to find these people’s innocence or guilt were corrupted as well because to claim innocence meant you were guilty and if you were to claim guilt you could be redeemed. Many of the items found incriminating were pins and voodoo dolls. Many of these people faced the psychological terror of being pressured into claiming guilt to a crime, you didn’t commit in front of a committee and scared the community to death that they were going to be subjected to. Many of the witnesses to these trials were said to have undergone physical distress or act inhumanly. Many historians say to these records that since their body was put under so much strain and fear of the witchcraft that surrounded them all the time, their bodies going through strange changes such as paralysis or temporary blindness with no real cause rather than stress. But many historians also believe the witnesses were voluntarily acting and committing fraud against the others. But why was this such an enigma to understand why this small town in New England was all of a sudden becoming a cen...
The year 1692 and early 1693 saw the prosecution and execution of nineteen witches, an old man stoned to death, several accused witchcrafts dying in jail and close to 28 being cast out of the infamous Salem Village (present day Danvers, Massachusetts) on the belief they possessed power to sway people into doing what they wanted (Goodbeer, 2011, p. 2). Early 1692, the daughter; Elizabeth and niece; Abigail Williams of first Salem Village ordained minister; Reverend Parris experienced and had frightening episodes of screaming, uttering voices and throwing things around. Another girl Ann Putnam also experienced the same and under magistrates Jonathan Corwin and John Hawthorne influence, the girls blamed their conditions on three women: Tituba, Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne for performing witchcraft on them (Goodbeer, The Salem Witch Hunt , 2011, p. 14).
In the winter of 1692 Betty Parris and her cousin Abigail Williams began to have fits. Minister John Hale described the fits saying that they were stronger than an epileptic fit and did not know of an illness that could cause such behavior. The girls would scream, make strange noises and throw things around among other peculiarities. They complained of being pricked with pins, as if they were being controlled by some type of voodoo. All of these signs automatically set off a scare among the inhabitants of Salem, a witchcraft scare. Dr. William Griggs could not find any physical evidence of a sickness furthering the suspicion of an evil presence in the young girls. Other young women in the village began to show similar behaviors leading to the decision that something paranormal was taking place. The first three people that were arrested were Sarah Osborne, Sarah Good and a slave woman named Tituba who confessed; they were accused by Ann. It was like the Hatfield and McCoy feud of their time; citizens would engage in arguments and even physical violence based on their opinions r...
As known, the witch trials occurred in the year 1692, and was one of the most devastating events to have ever occurred in Salem, Massachusetts. These events occurred due to the ignorance of many afflicted girls. Many innocent people gave up their lives and protested their innocence of witchcraft. According to the websites, there is little known about the accusers. However, many of the people who aided in the accusing were said to have left Salem. After the events occurred, only one of the afflicted girls and a few other accusers gave a confession pleading for forgiveness. It is still unknown why this event led to such an outrage, but many reasonable speculations are assumed. Throughout each reference, many of the authors explain what happened
The Salem Witch Trials, a series of horrifying events that occurred over 300 years ago, comprise one of the darkest chapters of American History. They began as two Salem girls lit the spark for a wildfire of hysteria and confusion that would consume the innocence of Salem Village. A year and twenty needless deaths later, the trials were put to a sudden stop. In addition, many theories behind the horror relate to events still taking place in the world today. Although this American tragedy occurred hundreds of years ago, the underlying reasons are still not fully understood.
In the year 1692, the small farming village of Salem, Massachusetts saw a social phenomenon that would propel the village into the history books: the calamity that was witchcraft. The witch trials were initiated whenever three young girls, Betty Parris, Abigail Williams, and Ann Putnam were caught performing fortune telling rituals in the woods, trying to gather information on what type of man would be best for them. Soon thereafter, the girls began experiencing hysterical fits, prompting Betty Parris’s father, Reverend Samuel Parris, to call in the authorities to confirm the cause of the girls’ symptoms. ...
In the summer of 1692, many strange and out of the ordinary events were taking place in Salem. Several young girls and young women began to have strange fits. They were eventually examined by doctors. "Dr. William Griggs examined Elizabeth Paris and Abigail Williams and came to the conclusion that the evil hand is upon them." With this analysis he was informing the patients that they were the victims of witchcraft. Before the girls were examined many members of the Salem community came to the conclusion that witchcraft was the reason the girls were having the strange fits. Following this was a series of hearings and trials, which resulted in the death of 20 people. This was not an uncommon practice used during that time. “Approximately nine hundred witches were burned in the single city of Bamberg, a...
During the early winter of 1692 two young girls became inexplicably ill and started having fits of convulsion, screaming, and hallucinations. Unable to find any medical reason for their condition the village doctor declared that there must be supernatural forces of witchcraft at work. This began an outbreak of hysteria that would result in the arrest of over one hundred-fifty people and execution of twenty women and men. The madness continued for over four months.
During the time of the Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692, more than twenty people died an innocent death. All of those innocent people were accused of one thing, witchcraft. During 1692, in the small town of Salem, Massachusetts many terrible events happened. A group of Puritans lived in Salem during this time. They had come from England, where they were prosecuted because of their religious beliefs. They chose to come live in America and choose their own way to live. They were very strict people, who did not like to act different from others. They were also very simple people who devoted most of their lives to God. Men hunted for food and were ministers. Women worked at home doing chores like sewing, cooking, cleaning, and making clothes. The Puritans were also very superstitious. They believed that the devil would cause people to do bad things on earth by using the people who worshiped him. Witches sent out their specters and harmed others. Puritans believed by putting heavy chains on a witch, that it would hold down their specter. Puritans also believed that by hanging a witch, all the people the witch cast a spell on would be healed. Hysteria took over the town and caused them to believe that their neighbors were practicing witchcraft. If there was a wind storm and a fence was knocked down, people believed that their neighbors used witchcraft to do it. Everyone from ordinary people to the governor’s wife was accused of witchcraft. Even a pregnant woman and the most perfect puritan woman were accused. No one in the small town was safe. As one can see, the chaotic Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692 were caused by superstition, the strict puritan lifestyle, religious beliefs, and hysteria.
In the early winter months of 1692, in colonial Massachusetts, two young girls began exhibiting strange symptoms that were described to be "beyond the power of Epileptic Fits or natural disease to effect (examiner.com)." Doctors looked them over, but could not come up with any sort of logical explanation for their ailments. Therefore, the girls were accused of taking part in witchcraft. Soon, other young women in the village started showing similar symptoms. This "illness" of sort slowly made its way through the village to many of the residents. Soon, people started coming up with possible theories as to what started all the madness.
Although witch trials were not uncommon in Puritanical New England, none had reached such epidemic proportions as Salem. In 1691 the mass hysteria began when several young girls dabbled in witchcraft and began acting strange. When villagers took notice the girls were seriously questioned and so they began naming people, mainly woman, who had supposedly bewitched them (Boyer, p66). Several other who had been accused were woman displayed ‘unfeminine’ behavior and those who
To better understand the events of the Salem witch trials, it is necessary to understand the time period in which the accusations of witchcraft occurred. There were the ordinary stresses of 17th-century life in Massachusetts Bay Colony. A strong belief in the devil, factions among Salem Village fanatics, and rivalry with nearby Salem Town all played a part in the stress. There was also a recent small pox epidemic and the threat of an attack by warring tribes created a fertile ground for fear and suspicion. Soon prisons were filled with more than 150 men and women from towns surrounding Salem.