Trouble Brewing in Salem Essay

Trouble Brewing in Salem Essay

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The Salem Witch Trials, a series of horrifying events that occurred over 300 years ago, comprise one of the darkest chapters of American History. They began as two Salem girls lit the spark for a wildfire of hysteria and confusion that would consume the innocence of Salem Village. A year and twenty needless deaths later, the trials were put to a sudden stop. In addition, many theories behind the horror relate to events still taking place in the world today. Although this American tragedy occurred hundreds of years ago, the underlying reasons are still not fully understood.
The history of the trials began in the New England village of Salem, Massachusetts, late 1692.Two young girls, bored with their restrictive lifestyle and repressive routines, became interested in the folksy customs of Tituba, the family’s black slave. The malignant phenomenon began with Elizabeth Parris and Abigail Williams, the daughter and niece local Puritan minister Samuel Parris'. At first Tituba, the family's black slave, introduced the girls to simple spells and tricks (Starkey 30). As news spread to the village girls about the unfamiliar excitement, a major contrast to the boredom and humdrum of village life, Tituba’s audience numbers began to swell (31). Betty and Abigail decided to try an old fortune telling trick of breaking an egg in a glass of water to discover the occupation of their future husbands. Despite the seeming innocence of the trick, Abigail’s egg formed a coffin shape and both girls, frightened by the haunting results, began thrashing and having hysterical fits. More girls, including Ann Putnam (12) and Elizabeth Hubbard (17), began falling ill, having fits, hiding, and chanting. Suspicions of witchcraft and evil immediately arose. As m...


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...ry of 18 Twitching Teenagers in Le Roy." New York Times
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Hill, Frances. Hunting for Witches: A Visitor's Guide to the Salem Witch Trials. Beverly:
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Merali, Zeeya. "'They're Here': The Mechanism of Poltergeist Activity." NewScientist:
Physics & Math. NewScientist, 1 Apr. 2008. Web. 5 May 2014.
Norton, Mary Beth. In the Devil's Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692. New
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Rice, Earle. The Salem Witch Trials. San Diego : Lucent, 1997. Print.
Starkey, Marion Lena. The Devil in Massachusetts: A Modern Enquiry into the Salem
Witch Trials. New York: Anchor, 1989. Print.
Whitaker, Kati. "Ghana Witch Camps: Widows' Lives in Exile." BBC News Magazine.
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