Truth About The Salem Witch Trials Essay

Truth About The Salem Witch Trials Essay

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The Salem Witch Trials were a series of prosecutions of men and women who were accused to practice witchcraft or have associations with the devil. The first Salem witch trial began with two girls in 1692, Elizabeth Parris and Abigail Williams who started to have “fits”, in which they would throw tantrums and have convulsions. The random outburst of the girls threw the town of Salem into a mass of hysteria. Although historians have not found a definite reason or cause for the witch trials, they have taken different approaches to explain the hysteria that took over Salem. Some historians approach a psychological theory by proposing the girls suffered from diseases that made them act out. Other historians refer to factors such as religion, economics, and weather to explain the beginnings of an unforgettable time in Salem, Massachusetts. For over 300 years, historians have tried to reveal the truth about the beginnings of the Salem Witch Trials, but in order to do so historians must look at both the way of life in Salem in the seventeenth century and use knowledge that is available now to explain the phenomenon.
Linnda Caporael proposes a theory that Elizabeth and Abigail suffered from convulsive ergotism. Ergotism is a caused by ergot, a type of fungus, found in rye and other grains. The fungus produces hallucinatory, and LSD-like effects. Which can include crawling sensations on the skin, extreme tingling, headaches, and seizure-like muscle contractions. Rye was very common in Massachusetts at the time, and with the damp weather it may have caused ergot to infest on the grains. Caporael says that the girls may have suffered from this disease, and needed a scapegoat for an excuse as to why they were acting foolish. Of course, in the...

... middle of paper ... reveal the name who harmed Elizabeth and Abigail, but the cake failed and Tituba’s knowledge of the test was later used against her in trial. Those are some of the main tests that the accused had to pass to prove their innocence, even though the tests did not guarantee acquittal.
All three women were arrested for the belief of harming Elizabeth Parris and Abigail Williams with witchcraft ordered by the devil. Sarah Osborne never made it to her trial, because she died in her jail cell on May 10, 1962. Tituba was in jail for thirteen months, until an unknown person paid the seven pounds to release her, and bought her into slavery. Her owner Reverend Parris refused to pay the fee to get Tituba out of jail. Sarah Good was condemned to hang, but was pardoned until the birth of her child. Her infant died in prison with her, and Good was later hanged on July 19, 1692.

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