Salem Witch Trials Essay

Topics: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Salem, Massachusetts Pages: 4 (894 words) Published: December 4, 2014

Salem Witch Trials Essay An infamous episode in American history, the Salem witch trials of 1692 resulted in the execution by hanging of fourteen women and five men accused of being witches. In addition, one man was pressed to death by heavy weights for refusing to enter a plea; at least eight people died in prison, including one infant and one child; and more than one hundred and fifty individuals were jailed while awaiting trial. Due to the survival of many relevant records, including notes, depositions, and official rulings, the main facts of the accusations, arrests, trials, and executions are known. What has always engaged scholars is the search for the causes of the "witch hysteria." The proffered explanations for the witchcraft occurrence are many and conflicting. In this essay I will explain when the Salem witch trials started, how it’s relevant to our lives today, and also what caused it. First, The Salem witch trials began during the spring of 1692, after a group of young girls in Salem Village, Massachusetts, claimed to be possessed by the devil and accused several local women of witchcraft. As a wave of hysteria spread throughout colonial Massachusetts, a special court convened in Salem to hear the cases; the first convicted witch, Bridget Bishop, was hanged that June. Eighteen others followed Bishop to Salem’s Gallows Hill, while some 150 more men, women and children were accused over the next several months. By September 1692, the hysteria had begun to abate and public opinion turned against the trials. Though the Massachusetts General Court later annulled guilty verdicts against accused witches and granted indemnities to their families, bitterness lingered in the community, and the painful legacy of the Salem witch trials would endure for centuries. Also, The Salem Witch Trials was caused when a girl fell sick in 1692. Soon three girls were sick they were named Ann Putnam Jr., Abigail Williams,...
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