Salem Witch Trial

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The Witches of Salem Throughout history there have been endless occurrences that involved the suspicion of witches. Perhaps the most notorious occurrence happened back in 17th century colonial Massachusetts, where the village of Salem was torn apart by the accusations of witchcraft. Many innocent women and men were accused, tried, and executed during the Salem Witch Trials based on the false beliefs surrounding such tests as the touch test, pressing, devil’s marks and other absurd methods of examination. The year 1692 marked the beginning of the witch hysteria in Salem, when a small group of girls began to showcase odd behavior. “The girls screamed, threw things about the room, uttered strange sounds, crawled under furniture and contorted …show more content…
It is also known as the devil’s mark. The colonists borrowed the old procedure utilized in 16th-17th century witch trials in England. They would start the examination by shaving the accused, to look for any blemish. “In the minds of the Puritans, these marks might be disguised in birthmarks, warts, moles, or any outstanding swelling or discoloration of the skin was suspect as being a witch’s mark. Even red spots, bumps under the tongue, or in private parts might be a witch mark.” (Procedures, Courts & Aftermath of the Salem Witch Trials) It was believed that these witches would feed their familiars through the teats. The examiner then would take a needle or pin and prick the blemish. If the “witch” didn’t bleed or feel any pain, they were sure to be a witch. “Often times, however, needles would be purposefully blunted so it would be easier to demonstrate just how “cold and unfeeling” this teat really is”. (10 Tests For Guilt at the Salem Witch Trials) Another example of an absurd examination was the touch test. It is unjust because it can easily be faked. In this procedure the accused and the afflicted would be gathered together. The afflicted girls would fall into fits, thrashing and crying. “When the accused touched the girls, they would immediately come out of their fit and identify the person touching them of being the one who afflicted them.” (Procedures, Courts & Aftermath of the Salem Witch …show more content…
The accused would be stripped down to nothing but their undergarments. They would sprinkle the alleged witch with holy water; bind his right thumb to his left big toe, and his right thumb to his left big toe. Next they would tie a rope around their waist, and then toss them into the nearest body of water. “If he floats, he’s a witch. If he sinks, haul him back and set him free.” (How to Spot a Witch) “Since witches were believed to have spurned the sacrament of baptism, it was thought that the water would reject their body and prevent them from submerging” (7 Bizarre Witch Trial Tests). The flaw with this test was that either way, the suspect is dead. They either drown during the swim test drown or executed some other

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