The Salem Witch Trials

1958 Words8 Pages
Witches and what are so called witches are viewed differently in modern society in comparison with early history, for the reason being that many have no believe towards it. In past history witches “since long before the sixteenth century, people had believed that some persons had superpower, the ability to perform good or harmful magic (or both). A good witch, or cunning women, as magic workers were often called, might, for example, heal persons or animals by incantations or potions; she might just as readily kill with a cure or evil eye. In either case, she possessed a power to be reckoned with. By sixteenth century, many-especially among the elite-began to hold a new belief, namely, that such supernatural power came from the devil, who bestowed it chiefly on women in return for their obedience to him” (Barstow, 1994, p. 20). Barstow wrote on her book European witch-hunts, giving a brief definition on the ways witches were viewed historicly. It was from the European Environment where witches were believed to have existed, and be followers of the devil. Two Dominican priests in Germany, Kramer and Sprenger wrote the “witch hunter’s Manuel,” and "Malleus Maleficarum". (Barstow, 1994, p. 171). Both publications added fuel to the fire because the Puritans in Salem began to suspect that they had witches within them, they believed those who cross over the Atlantic had brought them. The Salem witch trial took place in the Salem village during 1692, and is now identified as Denver and Massachusetts. The event involved a number of girls who falsely accused many town individuals of being witches, and having possession over them. It all started with Betty Parris, who at the time was 9 years old and her 11-year-old cousin Abigail Williams, t... ... middle of paper ... ...f hanging. Yet, at the time of her sentence witchcraft was not punishable by death, it wasn't until after the trial that the Massachusetts court revised an old law assembling witchcraft a capital offense. Her sentence to death was carried out, and she became the first individual to actually be hanged in the Salem trials. Works Cited 1. Barstow, A. L. (1994). Witchcraze: A new history of the European witch hunts. New York: Pandora. 2. Maier, P. (2003). Inventing America: A history of the United States. New York: W.W. Norton 3. Muraskin, R., & Domash, S. F. (2007). Crime and the media: Headlines versus reality. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. 4. Norton, M. B. (2002). In the devil’s snare: The Salem witchcraft crisis of 1692. New York: Knopf. 5. Longfellow, H. W. (2000). Poems and other writings. New York: Literary Classics of the United States.

More about The Salem Witch Trials

Open Document