The events that took place in Salem in 1692 are a part of a greater pattern throughout our history to persecute innocent people, especially women, as "witches." According to the history channel there was a story where three young women were accused of witchcraft. They were brought in front of the magistrates Jonathan Corwin and John Hathorne who questioned them. on the day of the trial the accusers were screaming and withering in pain yet two of the three withes pled not guilty . While the last women pled guilty likely thinking that she would save herself from conviction by ratting out the other people.
This obviously was occurring before the craziness of the witch trials. Yet, after the witch trials began, the sisters turned against each other. After getting into a huge disagreement, Deliverance states that “[her] blood boiled through [her] and rushed to [her] fists and sent them flying at [her] sister”(138). The stress of the witch trials led hysteria to fall upon the town, leading to fights, disagreements, and accusations. Not only was this found in this novel, but it is also featured in The Crucible.
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.
Fear of being arrested or put to death is the key motivation in turning others in as witches. From these three human flaws, the town of Salem falls into chaos with many innocent people paying the price. Vengeance plays a key role in causing the mass hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials. Abigail Williams, who?s probably most to blame for the trials, acts out of revenge. She and John Proctor have had an affair and when Elizabeth Proctor finds out, she throws Abigail out of their house.
Sarah Osborne and Sarah Good proclaimed their innocence. Tituba at first, claimed she was innocent, but then later, she completely changed her mind and said she was guilty. Tituba said a man from Boston told her to sign the Devil’s book, or he would hurt Betty and Abigail. Tituba said she did, and saw nine other names, which included Sarah Osborne and Sarah Good. Tituba’s confession sparked a massive, hysterical, witch hunt in which at least 22 people were killed, in which nineteen people were hanged, between four to thirteen people who died in prison, and one person who was pressed to death.
Those who opposed the Reverend were of the first to be accused. Convictions of the accused were based purely on the testimony given by the children, testimony that was undoubtedly given to them by supporters of the reverend. To conclude, the people of Salem used the suffering of the "inflicted" girls as an excuse to rid their political opposition. The irresponsibility of human behavior and corruption of politics turned, what began as a simple game, into the murder of many innocent people and formed a town that was forever changed by its infamous history.
One theory suggests that to get back at the Porters, the Putnam family had their girls accuse anyone in the community that were allied with the Porters of being witches. There is some evidence for this, as almost all the "bewitched" girls came from families connected to the Putnams (Krystek). Old feuds between the accusers and the accused was spurring charges of witchcraft (Linder). Even though we have some evidence to back the theories of the Salem witch trials up, the most logical theory is that the people of Salem were all just putting on an act. Everyone had a motive to either hurt someone they despise or have feuds with, or just to save themselves.
People who were considered to be their friends or neighbors were turning on them accusing them of witchcraft. This event caused problems with trust and paranoia between many people. Turns out that the Salem Witch Trials were just a hoax after all. The mass hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials began in early 1692. The trials initiated with young girls behaviors being out of the ordinary.
Despite the origins of the comparison, it still holds true. Both events were started by people who were extremely well respected by their peers accusing others of a hard-to-prove crime. Abigail Williams led the crusade against witches in the Salem Witch Trials while republican senator Joseph McCarthy preached the evils of communism and homosexuality. Even though the events occurred centuries apart, the mass-hysteria and fear aroused in the general populace was equally frightening in both events. Abigail thoroughly had the small town of Salem wrapped around her finger as she and her friends accused those they did not like, mainly women, of being witches and afflicting horrible spells upon them.
Tituba, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborne were found guilty and put in jail. It was no surprise that Bridget Bishop was accused of being a witch. Being known as the girl who dressed inappropriately and got into many fights was not a good reputation to have. Bishop had the most accusers out of any of the accused witches. During her trials, when she looked at the girls who accused her, they would fall down, like they had been pushed.