We have all heard fairy tales about witches and wizards. You know, the ones that ride brooms and have that evil laugh! Well, in Salem, Massachusetts, the people there believed in them too. They might not have been the ones that can be seen in the books or popular movies, but they were considered a legitimate threat to the people of Salem. The “witches” of Salem have become a famous part of history, as the trials began in January of 1692. The Salem Witch Trials were some of the darkest times in human history because they caused unjustified hysteria and fear of the unknown; as a result, this caused physical, mental, and emotional harm as well as a great loss of human life.
The first claim of witchcraft was William Griggs. He was a very sick man, and his diagnosis was bewitchment (Introduction). Soon after that, the reverend, Mr. Samuel Parris, began inviting the young girls of the town into his home (causes). The reverend had a slave, and she was a dark Caribbean woman. Her name was Tituba. She gathered these young girls in the kitchen, and they became her “followers” (causes). The townspeople did not agree with the way that her followers acted at all. It was a belief that they performed black magic dances, as well as many other satanic rituals. Religions believed that the Devil was able to give his followers special powers, and with those powers, they could bring forth more followers (causes). As if this was not hard enough, there was a war between France and the American colonies. This caused a lot of tension, and forced refugees to go to Salem and the surrounding towns. All of the displaced people also caused a big strain on crops and other resources (causes).
People of the town also ...
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... She apologized for all of the other mistakes that she made as well. Each of the guilty acted in different ways, and some never truly apologized. Reverend Parris was removed from his position in the church and kicked out of the village in 1694. Governor Phips was removed from office: he believed in witchcraft, but knew the accused were innocent. The governor ran the court of Oyer and Terminer, and it was dissolved once he was removed from office. The King forced him back to England where he died of a horrible fever in February of 1695. After the year of 1752, the town of Salem was renamed to “Danvers” in order to leave its past of death and hatred behind. Finally, in 1957, the last of the “witches” names were cleared. The town finally realized their mistakes, and erected a memorial in 1992 in honor of the people who died of witchcraft accusations (aftermath).
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