Salem Witch Trials

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During the 1600s something devastating was going on in America. The Salem witch trials in Massachusetts. But I bet you didn’t know the same thing was going on in Europe at the same time. The Salem witch trials and European witch hunts had a lot of things in common, yet they had their differences as well. People accused other people of being witches all the time, then when people started believing that is when the hysteria kicked in. The thought of witches being in their presence terrified them. They didn’t know what they were capable of, so they did everything they could do to stop the “black magic.”

The Salem witch trials began in June of 1692 when three girls, Betty Parris, Ann Putnam, and Mary Walcott. 12-year-old Ann Putman was considered the leader of the “circle girls.” The girls secretly gathered at Parris’ house for stories and magic with Tituba, Samuel Parris’ Indian slave. Betty Parris was the first to start acting strangely. Not long after Betty, Ann Putman and Mary Walcott started acting strangely ill as well. They threw fits, contorted in pain, and complained of fever. When a doctor, William Griggs, failed to find an effective cure for the girls’ symptoms he suggested that their problems may have been of the supernatural origin. When asked to identify their tormentors, they blamed Tituba, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborn of witchcraft. (Linder) Earlier in Europe three girls started acting strangely and accused their nanny of witchcraft, and this started the Witch hunts and trials in Europe in the 13th to 16th century.

In Europe Catholics believed in “Exodus 22:18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”. They thought that killing witches was the best way to kill magic. Burning and Hanging were the most common forms of execution. A book called Malleus Maleficarum was the main text people used that told them how to deal with witches. A witch was not allowed to live no matter what, even if they were willing to admit all that they were accused of. There...
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