The Salem Witchcraft trials in Massachusetts during 1692 resulted in nineteen innocent men and women being hanged, one man pressed to death, and in the deaths of more than seventeen who died in jail. It all began at the end of 1691 when a few girls in the town began to experiment with magic by gathering around a crystal ball to try to find the answer to questions such as "what trade their sweet harts should be of ". This conjuring took place in the Parris household where a woman named Tituba, an Indian slave, headed the rituals. Soon after they had begun to practice these rituals, girls who had been involved, including the Master Parris' daughter and niece, became sick.
They had constant fits, twitched, cried, made odd noises, and huddled in corners. The family called in doctors, and they were treated for many illnesses. Nothing helped. Many weeks later after running out of reasons for their strange behavior, all of their symptoms seemed to lead to one belief, "The evil hand is upon them." They were possessed by the Devil.
At first the families of the children could not find anyone to accuse for being the witch responsible for possessing the children. Then, late in February of 1692, Parris' neighbor, Mary Sibley recommended that Parris' slaves, Tituba and John Indian, should work a spell to try to find the culprits. Even after trying this solution the girls' condition worsened, and the people responsible still had not been found. The girls began to see hazy shadows and believed that these shadows were of the people who had done this to them. After more and more children became victims of this, the hunting for the witches who were to blame for the girls' sickness began to get more serious....
... middle of paper ...
...time, credibility of an accusation was not checked thoroughly, instead the person accused was simply locked up in jail until their trial time came. Even then, if they did not confess to being guilty, they were punished sometimes even killed. Although the law is innocent until proven guilty, and had been practiced before the trials, in the case of the witchcraft trials, the accused witches were guilty until proven innocent. Not many were given the chance to prove themselves to be innocent.
1. Guilley Ellen, Witches and Witchcraft (New York: Facts on File, 1989), 152.
2. Wilson, Lori Lee, The Salem Witch Trials (Minneapolis: Lerner Publishing Company, 1997)
3. Hoffer Peter, The Salem Witchcraft Trials: A Legal History (Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 1997), 212.
4. Zeinert, Karen. The Salem Witchcraft Trials, (New York: F. Watts, 1989),
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Salem Witch Trials The witch trials of the late 1600's were full of controversy and uncertainty. The Puritan town of Salem was home to most of these trials, and became the center of much attention in 1692. More than a hundred innocent people were found guilty of practicing witchcraft during these times, and our American government forced over a dozen to pay with their lives. The main reasons why the witch trials occurred were conflicts dealing with politics, religion, family, economics, and fears of the citizens.... [tags: History Salem Witch Trials]
1357 words (3.9 pages)
- The year 1692 marked a major event in history in the town of Salem, Massachusetts. The Salem Witchcraft Trials still leaves this country with so many questions as to what happened in that small town. With all the documentation and accounts of the story, people are still wondering why 19 people died as a result of these trials. This paper will discuss the events leading up to the Salem Witch Trials and the events that took place during and after the trials, and the men and women who were killed or spent the remainder of their lives in jail.... [tags: History Salem Witch Trials]
1476 words (4.2 pages)
- The Salem witch trials were a time period in which there was mass chaos and very little reason. In, “The Crucible,” by Arthur Miller, there were an elect group of people that overcame this hysteria of the trials. Among the people of reason arose, Reverend Hale, who displayed both sides of the hysteria. Reverend Hale is a dynamic character as he transforms from a character following the strict law and causing the deaths of many, to a character that understands the ridiculousness of the trials. In the beginning of the play, Hale enters as a strict law abiding citizen enjoying his position of power and his ability to make the decisions in Salem.... [tags: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, Arthur Miller]
543 words (1.6 pages)
- Salem Witch Trials Throughout history millions of people have been scorned, accused, arrested, tortured, put to trial and, persecuted as witches. One would think that by the time the United States was colonized, these injustices on humanity would have come to an end, but that was not so. In 1692 a major tragedy occurred in America, the Salem witch trials. It all began when a group of girls accused others, generally older women, of consorting with the devil. The witchcraft hysteria in Salem, Massachusetts resulted from the strict Puritan code which aroused the girls interest in superstition and magic and caused strange behavior.... [tags: Witchcraft Salem Witch Trials History Essays]
1634 words (4.7 pages)
Comparing Salem Possessed by Paul Boyer, The Story of the Salem Witch Trials by Bryan Le Beau, and Devil in the Shape of a Woman by Carol Karlsen
- Comparing "Salem Possessed" by Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, "The Story of the Salem Witch Trials" by Bryan Le Beau, and "The Devil in the Shape of a Woman" by Carol Karlsen The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 spread just about as fast as the Black Plague. This epidemic caused chaos among neighbors in a community. The chronology of events describes an awful time for colonists from June 10th to September 22nd of that year. The books "Salem Possessed" by Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, "The Story of the Salem Witch Trials" by Bryan Le Beau, and "The Devil in the Shape of a Woman" by Carol Karlsen all describe these events and provide varying explanations for the epidemic that plagued Sale... [tags: Salem Witch Trials 1692]
1814 words (5.2 pages)
- The year was 1692, and I still remember as if it were yesterday. The events that occurred were terrifying for me as I lived in horror not knowing whether I would live or die. “More than 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft, the Devil’s magic, and 20 were executed” (Blumberg). It all started the day Mother decided to take me to the market place. We were desperately trying to get everything together for my birthday. I couldn’t wait for my 16th birthday, but I got more than I bargained for.... [tags: salem witch trial]
1154 words (3.3 pages)
- The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 In colonial Massachusetts between February of 1692 and May of 1963 over one hundred and fifty people were arrested and imprisoned for the capital felony of witchcraft. Trials were held in Salem Village, Ipswich, Andover and Salem Town of Essex County of Massachusetts, but accusations of witchcraft occurred in surrounding counties as well. Nineteen of the accused, fourteen women and five men, were hanged at Gallows Hill near Salem Village. Hysteria had swept through Puritan Massachusetts and hundreds of people were accused of witchcraft.... [tags: Witch Salem History Hunt]
1056 words (3 pages)
- Some people say that the Salem Witch Trials were less a religious persecution than economic in purpose, using religion as a guise to gain property. I believe that the Salem witch trials were less a religious persecution than economical. I believe this for several reasons; one being that the accused witches were using their witchcraft on other people in the town and it was affecting them. Many people were accused of performing witchcraft and were persecuted for doing so. But I believe that people in towns accused others of "witchcraft" whenever something went wrong, because "witchcraft" was such a common thing back than.... [tags: Witch Trials]
1747 words (5 pages)
- The Salem Witch Trials The Salem Witchcraft trials in Massachusetts during 1692 resulted in nineteen innocent men and women being hanged, one man pressed to death, and in the deaths of more than seventeen who died in jail. It all began at the end of 1691 when a few girls in the town began to experiment with magic by gathering around a crystal ball to try to find the answer to questions such as "what trade their sweet harts should be of ". This conjuring took place in the Parris household where a woman named Tituba, an Indian slave, headed the rituals.... [tags: American History Witch Witches Essays Salem]
2616 words (7.5 pages)
- The Massachusetts Bay Experiment, although it started as a commercial enterprise, was highly grounded on religion. As John Winthrop said, they wanted to create a “city upon a hill,” or a utopia where God’s favor could be achieved. To attain this Promised Land, the Puritans devoted themselves to their church life and God. Spending hours at service every day, the Puritans were a closely-knit community due to the power of the church. Whenever any problem in the community emerged, the Puritans looked to the church to give them an answer.... [tags: History massachusetts Witch Trials]
1148 words (3.3 pages)