Throughout the seventeenth century, there were many trials due to curious beliefs of witchcraft. A lot of town folk accused some of the residents of witchcraft due to hatred and they also wanted to do away with the people that were accused wrongly. “Other assumptions would be because of strange behavior such as screaming, getting seizures, trance-like states, and mysterious spells.” Within a short time, several other Salem girls began to demonstrate similar behavior. The doctors could not determine any physical cause for the symptoms. The doctors had told the townspeople that they were influenced by Satan.
There are many reasons why the people of Salem accused people of being witches. According to the transcripts some theories are that “the girls did it for fun”, they did it to cause mass hysteria, or to have revenge on others in the small village (The Salem Witchcraft Papers).We do not know exactly what happened, but we have clues to what may have happened. Researchers have found what may have started the bewitching, there is a theory that fights between the merchants and the citizens sparked the accusations (In Search of History). The transcripts have given us additional information on the witch trials in Salem Village in 1692 (Schanzer 17). The first accusers were Abigail Williams and her cousin Betty (Schanzer, 28).
During the years of 1692 and 1693 the fear of witchcraft swept through Salem, Massachusetts like a plague. Witchcraft strongly defied Puritan beliefs, and the Puritans executed any accused witches. Throughout the hysteria in Salem, 185 people were accused of practicing witchcraft. Rumors of witchcraft put many people’s lives in danger. Witchcraft was defined as entering into a compact with the devil in exchange for certain powers to do evil.
Unable to determine any physical cause for the symptoms and behavior, doctors concluded that the girls were under the influence of Satan. Prayer Services and community fasting were organized by the Reverend Samuel Parris in hopes of relieving the evil forces that supposedly plagued the community. Efforts to expose the witches were also performed. The first three women to be identified as the source of the problem were Tituba, an Indian slave, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osbor... ... middle of paper ... ...ace. Years went by, and apologies were given and restitution was also given to the families.