Salem Witch Trials

Salem Witch Trials

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Salem Witch Trials

Early in 1692, the witch hunt started in Salem, Massachusetts. During

this time there were many stresses in the Massachusetts Bay Colony among

Salem Villages, who had a strong belief in the devil. A town not too far from

Salem had had a recent smallpox outbreak, and created fear and suspicion for

the Salem Villages. Nine-year old Elizabeth Parris and eleven years old

Abigail Williams started having fits, strange behaviors and would scream

with anger. A doctor looked at the girls and decided that

the only explanation was spells caused by witchcraft. The girls then

accused Tituba who was a family slave, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborne of

telling them tales of omens, voodoo, and witchcraft.

Cotton Mather had just published a book about witchcraft and

the symptoms of the people under the spells. Since the girls fits were much

like those described in Mather's book, the family accepted of the doctor's

conclusion that the girls were under a spell. Leading to the

Trials against Tituba, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborne as being the

one's responsible to what was occurring to the girls.

On March 1, 1692 John Hawthorne and Jonathan Corwin began of examining the three

accused women.

They asked each one the same questions: Are you a witch? How do

you explain what is happening to these girls? The Three maintained her

innocence, but eventually Tituba confessed to being a witch and claimed that

she, Good, and Osborne had flown through the air on broom sticks and even

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talked to the devil. On February 29, warrants were issued for the arrests of

Tituba, Sarah Good and Sarah Osborn. Tituba's acknowledgment showed

Salem that their fears were true. For the next year the people from Salem

searched for witches.

In the following months, many more were accused of witchcraft.

Bridget Williams, Martha Corey, Sarah Cloyce, Rebecca Nurse, and Mary

Eastick all faced charges of witchcraft. Filled to capacity with all the new

trials, Governor William Phips created a special court to hear the witch

cases. The court was known as the Court of Oyer and Terminer. Rebecca

Nurse, Bridget Bishop, and John Proctor all died as convicted witches. The

trials quickly went out of control, and a number of suspected witches were

convicted and hanged. Others that were convicted would be burned, some

even had there hands tied to their feet and would be thrown in a lake

Due to the beliefs of some villagers that claimed if the person convicted

floated in the water they were bewitched, but if they would drown they

weren't. That obviously didn't work so well since all of the convicted

that were tossed in the lake died. Spectral evidence was also a methoed used in the slame

witch trials. it's a testimony given by a person that acuusess another person's spectral shape

or spirit of appering in there dream but at the time the acussed persons body physically was

in another place.

Also, those who stood trial for the crime of witchcraft could be convicted

based on gossip and rumors around the town. The only reasonable way to

avoid implementation was to admit to being a witch. After 1692, nineteen

people refused to confess to being a witch and died as a result.

The aftermath of the Salem witch trials was harsh. One Hundred and forty people

were acussed, fourty-three people were killed. Even with the

witch trials over, many were still in jail because they could not pay their way

out. Unless the prisoners or someone else could pay for these expenses, they

could not be free. The people who were convicted of witchcraft had their

property confiscated by the government. This left their families without

money and a home. The trials ended because of respected ministers that started to believe
that

a lot of innocent people were being accused
and executed on unreliable spectral evidence.

The last which trials were held in Jauary of 1693, and in May. Govener Phips pardoned the

remaining acussed.



Overall did witches really exist in Salem Messacussets? In Bridget

Bishop celler of her house there was found "popets" filled with stuck pins in them. Martha

Carrie told people there fortunes. They were both considered to practice black magic during

the time of the trials. Meaning there were witches in Salem. Thought, no evidence was found

that the accused woman were practitioners for neo-pagan religions or the Wicca.



The Crucible is a play written my Author Miller in 1952. It was the first play shown

at the Martin Beck on Brodway. The critics and aduiece loved it, it was a box office success.

The Events in the play resembel the events that occurred during the salem witch trials in

Salem Massachusets. In this play Miller uses fictionalication which means some of the

events arnt exactly the same as the occurring in 1692. He adds an affar and love between

father John Proctor and the ministers teenage daugher Abigal Williams. Though there is no

evidence that this actually acured. Abigale was around the age of 11 and John was over 60

years old. Not only that but they lived eight miles apart, a long distance in the seventeenth

century. More than 20 years after the play was shown on Brodway, Miller at age 81 wrote a

screenplay for the movie version of the play called "The Crucible". Again Miller

fictionalized the movie version of the events also changing a few minor things from the play.
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