The Trials Of The Salem Witch Trials

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The Salem Witch Trials took place in the summer and into the fall of the year 1692, and during this dark time of American history, over 200 people had been accused of witchcraft and put in jail. Twenty of these accused were executed; nineteen of them were found guilty and were put to death by hanging. One refused to plead guilty, so the villagers tortured him by pressing him with large stones until he died. The Salem Witch Trials was an infamous, scary time period in American history that exhibited the amount of fear people had of the devil and the supernatural; the people of this time period accused, arrested, and executed many innocent people because of this fear, and there are several theories as to why the trials happened (Brooks).…show more content…
The examinations begin with the people who were charged with witchcraft are brought to face the Salem Justices and are asked why they are hurting the afflicted girls, and during these examinations, the afflicted young girls gave descriptions of being attacked and tormented by the apparitions of Tituba, Good, and Osborn; the girls then exhibited forms of contortions when the accused were near them. Some of the townspeople even came forth with accounts of their dairy products spoiling and their animals being born with malformations after one of the accused came into their homes. Linder wrote: The magistrates, in the common practice of the time, asked the same questions of each suspect over and over: Were they witches? Had they seen Satan? How, if they were not witches, did they explain the contortions seemingly caused by their presence? The style and form of the questions indicates that the magistrates thought the women guilty…show more content…
After Tituba admitted to being a witch and said that she and four other witches “had flown through the air on their poles” (Linder), panic swept through Salem, and the pursuit of witches expanded (Linder) (Brattle) (Brooks). The town jails were filling rapidly as more and more people were being accused and arrested. With the jails being brimming with arrested men and women, the Governor decided that there needed to be a method of convicting witches, so he made a court to take and evaluate the cases of witchcraft. Many different kinds of evidence were accepted and used in the court; tests were made to help convict accused witches: The judges also decided to allow the so-called “touch-test” (defendants were asked to see if their touch, as was generally assumed of the touch of witches, would stop their contortions) and examinations of the bodies of the accused for evidence of “witches’ marks” (moles or the like upon which a witch’s familiar might suck)

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