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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Merali, Zeeya. "'They're Here': The Mechanism of Poltergeist Activity." NewScientist:
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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
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Whitaker, Kati. "Ghana Witch Camps: Widows' Lives in Exile." BBC News Magazine.
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