Salem Witch Trials : An Outbreak Of Witches Essay

Salem Witch Trials : An Outbreak Of Witches Essay

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The Salem Witch Trials took place in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692. At this time there appeared to be an outbreak of witches. This started when the children of the Goodwin family begin having mysterious fits. The doctors, not knowing what had happened to the children, blamed it on witchcraft. From that point on many people were accused of being a witch and were killed. This occurred for many different reasons; either they were hanged for their crimes, crushed by stones for refusing to stand trial on their cases, or from waiting in the jail for so long before their case came up. As people began to investigate the Salem Witch Trials further they came up with two explanations; either the people of Salem were begin acted through by the devil or the people of the town were falsely accusing each other.
The first belief of what happened to these people was that they were possessed by the devil. This was the belief of many of the Puritans, in Salem. Puritans had such strong religious beliefs, that to them it seemed highly plausible that the devil was using their peers as pawns to carry out his evil influence on the world. Another thing that fueled the Puritans belief of bewitchment was a book written a few years previously called Memorable Providences, Relating to Witchcrafts and Possessions by Cotton Mather. This book explained symptoms of four children who had been bewitched by their laundress. The symptoms that Mather described were the same symptoms the town seemed to be plagued with. This only added to the belief that the town had an outbreak of witches. Many of the doctors in the town started blaming illness that could not be diagnosed on witchcraft. In 1692, Williams and Elizabeth Parris began acting out of the ordinary by dashin...

... middle of paper ...

... away from themselves, or simply because they were just bored.
Personally I believe the opposing agreement, I think the original girls that were accusing people were just bored and had a lot of free time. I also think that after the accusations were started many people just jumped on the bandwagon and started accusing people that did not like just to send them to jail to get rid of them. Once someone was accused of being a witch it was a guaranteed way to get rid of someone. If they confessed to being a witch they were hanged and if they refused to commit on the subject they were hanged. Many of the stories in the article seemed more like stories of false accusation as opposed to actually being possessed. I do not believe that any of the people in Salem were witches; I think they were all falsely accused by others that were paranoid of this supposed witch outbreak.

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