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It all happened in one year. It started when two young girls seemed sick, but were making awkward sounds and outstanding body movements. A doctor came in a mentioned witchcraft, which set in five more girls who declared they were touched by the devil and were being practiced on. The seven girls accused many people of witchcraft, but the very first ones were, Tituba, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborn (The Witchcraft Trials: A Commentary). Tituba admitted she was indeed a witch, and confessed to everyone that her, along with four others were worshipers of the devil.
Salem did not have an official place for the trials. So, the “Court of Oyer and Terminer” was created. The Salem people used the court for all of the hearings of the accused so things would go more smoothly than doing them in a regular court. Every single one of the trials was held in Salem Village.
The “Court of Oyer and Terminer” had many specific ways to tell if someone was a witch or not. One of the most common ways was by witch marks. Which were uncommon or unusual marks on someones skin (moles, scars, blemishes). Another common test was the witch cake, where a cake is produced using specific ingredients including the urine of suspected victims (Tottalyhistory.com).
Bridget Bishop, a sixty year old lady, was accused. A field worker said that he had seen her steal eggs and transform herself into a cat in front of his very eyes. Bishop was found guilty and was hung on June tenth. The accusing was for unnecessary reasons, from family issues, to ownership issues, to land issues. People would get angry at someone and accuse them of witchcraft for punishment. Also, if you stood out, didn’t go to church, or was not liked or well known, you were a good victim for the cases.
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