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Salem Witch Trials

Synopsis

            The Salem witch trials are a series of executions and witchcraft accusations that took place in Salem around the years 1692 and 1693. Over 200 people were accused of being a witch and about 20 were actually executed. In 1693, the executions finally stopped and apologies were issued to the families of the “witches”.

           

            The people of Salem were very religious Christians who believed the Devil could grant power to his followers. One day, Elizibeth Parris, age 9, Abagail Williams, age 11, and Ann Putnam, age 9 fell into an insane state. They screamed, threw things and contorted their bodies into weird positions. When a doctor couldn’t figure out the mysterious ailment, he blamed the Devil. Under pressure from the magistrate, the girls blamed three women. Tituba, a Caribbean slave, Sarah Good, a poor beggar, and Sarah Osborne, an elderly woman were the accused. Both of the Sarahs denied being a witch, but Tituba confessed of having visions of the Devil.

            Over the next few months, paranoia spread throughout Salem. People were continuously brought in and imprisoned. The people guilty of witchcraft were hanged, disproving the myth of being burned at the stake. One man (yes, men were accused as well) was even pressed to death with heavy stones because he refused to cooperate with the judges. Eventually, the judges prevented the use of spectral evidence (i.e. dreams or visions) in court.

            The horrific trials finally ended in the year. But the damage had already been done. 19 people were hanged on Gallows Hill, some died in the dark, dank jail cells and close to 200 innocent Salemites (or whatever you call them) were blamed for practicing the Devils Magic.


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Theories

1.      The girls were put up to it by someone else. Maybe for a practical joke of sorts.

2.      A mental illness overcame the poor girls.

3.      Those 3 girls were just starving for attention and plotted this ordeal.

4.      Maybe the Devil DID visit them! AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

WHICH ONE DO YOU THINK IS TRUE?

Website used: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/brief-salem.html?c=y&page=2

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