The Salem Witch Trials

Better Essays
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. It was considered a sin against God’s superiority; a strict rule against Puritan beliefs (Conforti). Although the Salem witch trials was an important and remarkable event that occurred to the Puritan people, there were not really witches in Salem, only hysteria and suspicion. In 1692, sequences of women had begun to have fits. Young girls who were trying out fortune-telling had begun to start acting as though they were being tormented. As well as the fits they were falling into, they felt as if they were being choked, pinched, and jabbed all over (Conforti). People started to question the way women were acting and assuming it was the works of the devil. Sarah Good, Sarah Osburn, and Tituba, a slave in a family of a girl who was one of the girls playing around with fortune-telling games and such, were all arrested due to suspicion of witchcraft (Gragg). Sarah Good pleaded herself innocent, but accused suspicion upon Sarah Osburn. Osburn admitted to suffering symptoms of bewitchment like other younger girls. She had a dream that an “Indian looking figure in all black pinched her in her neck”. Likewise Osburn’s dream, Tituba experienced a similar sighting but in her situation, there were “four women and one man who told her if she would not hurt the children, they will hurt her”. ... ... middle of paper ... ...s, and Crises in American History. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2008. American History Online. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 24 Mar. 2014. . Cullen-DuPont, Kathryn. "Salem witch trials." Encyclopedia of Women's History in America, Second Edition. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2000. American History Online. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 24 Mar. 2014. . Asirvatham, Sandy. "'Believers and Skeptics'." The Salem Witch Trials, Great Disasters. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2002. American History Online, Facts On File, Inc. Web. 24 Mar. 2014. . Gragg, Larry D. "Salem Witchcraft Trials." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2000. Web. 24 Mar. 2014. .
Get Access