Witchcraft Time in the Salem Witch Trials
How it works
Imagine waking up in the morning, and people banging on your door accusing you of being a witch. During 1692-1693 200 people were accused of witchcraft. The Salem witchcraft trials were a time when people were executed for being accused of witchcraft. Over 141 suspects, both men and women were trialed for witchcraft. January 1692 a group of girls begins to make odd noises, be in strange positions, and spend hours lying motionless in the bed. When the word spread the town’s puritan minister (Samuel Parris) believed that the girls were bewitched, the girls said that 3 women put a spell on them.
Five people were executed on August 19, 1692, Eight more were hung on September 22, 1692. One man Giles Corey was crushed to death under stones. Others were drowned or hung. A young girl known as Betty Parris was complaining of pain and fever even though there was a likelihood that the symptoms were a result of a disease or child abuse. Some people in the village suspected witchcraft not to be the cause. They started to think more about witchcraft when close friends of the sick girl started getting sick or the same symptoms as the girl. The three girls that were experiencing were Mary Walcott, Mary Lewis, Ann Putnam.
They diagnosed the problem and said it was caused by a supernatural cause. People were accused of being a witch because, if a person had an interest in plants and herbs and knew a lot about them, therefore they suggested they use the products to make potions. If a women were to be accused of being a witch and they were pregnant the child will be accused of being a witch too. To heal those who were taken over the local Priest suggested that prayer and fasting to God would be the best cure. With the belief that witches and the devil were taking over, a special court was created to handle the cases. It was called the court of Oyer(to hear) and Terminer(to decide). The first accused witch was Bridget Bishop, who was hanged eight days later. Eighteen others were convicted and hanged at the Gallows Hill in Salem Town. Others suffered other penalties, such as being stoned to death. The Puritans had a theocracy form of government, which was very strict, and did not provide any rights to people accusing others often could say anything about anyone, and would lead to prison or death for the accused without a fair trial. Salem Witch Trials were very important to history because, they were the largest witch trials ever held in the history of America, and one of the last major witch trials held anywhere.
Most people were executed as witches. In the court, they allowed gossip and rumors for evidence in the trial for the accused. Many children testified against their own parents. In an effort to explain the strange afflictions suffered by those ‘bewitched’ people that live in Salem around 1692, a study published in Science magazine in 1976 cited the fungus in the wheat cereal and other stuff, which toxicologists say can cause symptoms such as them seeing stuff, vomiting, and muscle spasms or cramps” (history.com). This could explain the fits described by those accusing women of witchcraft. Even though it was known as the Salem Witch trials some of the trials actually took place in Ipswich and Andover and Salem itself. In that period a lot of people looked alike, people often mix up the Puritans with the Pilgrims, the group of Dutch settlers who created Thanksgiving. Signs of being a witch were very common when the person is throwing themselves on the floor, Twitching uncontrollably, screaming, high fevers, and Abdominal and muscular pain. If u lived in Salem, the easy way to spot a witch is the confession(usually by force or coercion), a social outcast. Witches are people who signed the devil’s book giving the devil permission to use them to harm people.
Various tests were given to women accused of being a witch. A form of seeing if the accused is a witch is the dunk test, in the dunk test the accused would be tied to a chair and cast into a body of water. If the accused sank, she was not a witch but if the accused floated then she was a witch and will be punished by death. Another test the accused had to go through was if the accused was showing symptoms they got the accused urine and put it in a cake and gave it to a dog and if the dog and victim showed the same behavior, the victim was bewitched. There are a lot of tests that they used but this one I believe is the same as the dunk test, the sink test involved tying rocks to the accused and placing them in the water if they sank they were innocent if they floated they were pronounced a witch. In Salem u could tell if somebody was a witch if he or she is singing, reading, not conforming to Puritan law, Not getting along with your neighbor, spending a lot of time alone, and writing a lot. One tip was if u were accused to get pregnant. One specific woman that was accused in Salem Witch Trials was Abigail Williams, she was an orphan and the niece of Rev.Parris.She was a beautiful lady smart and cunning and she was the leader of the group of witches(the crucible). A lady named Sarah Good that was convicted was born in 1653 to a well-off innkeeper named John Solar. Sarah’s position as a person known to be a rude and marginal member of society made her a perfect candidate for witchcraft events. February 29,1692, the first warrant was for the arrest of Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba. They were accused of threatening Betty Parris and Abigail Williams, and later other people accused the Goods of injurious actions and visual evidence. Rebecca Nurse was an elderly and very respected member of the Salem Village. She was accused of witchcraft in March of 1692 by several girls in Salem Village.
Friends, neighbors and family members wrote petitions testifying to her innocence, she was trialed for her acts of witchcraft in June 1692. The jury first gave Rebecca “not guilty” but turned around and sentence her “guilty”.She was to keep out from the Salem church and hanged on July 19, 1692. Susannah Martin was a sixty-seven-year-old widow of Amesbury was hanged as a witch on July,19,1692. She maintained her innocence to the end, she still got executed. As 1692 passed into 1693, the conflict began to lose steam. The governor of the Salem colony, upon hearing that his wife was accused of witchcraft ordered an end to the trials. If u don’t know by now witchcraft can be many things. It can be part of a religion like (Wicca). Dolls and Puppets are a common witchcraft tools. Poppets are the English term for the movie term “voodoo doll”.The voodoo doll is a misnomer and does nothing for poppets or Haitian magic. Poppets are used for cursing and healing, also be used to influence thought patterns. Shrine making is another form of witchcraft, it is for pleasing the spirits whom you may later want to contact. Shrine making could also bless, protect your home, and land. Some people know the witch bottle as the traditional version.