Preview

The Witchcraft Trials: The Salem Witch Trial

Good Essays
Open Document
Open Document
646 Words
Grammar
Grammar
Plagiarism
Plagiarism
Writing
Writing
Score
Score
The Witchcraft Trials: The Salem Witch Trial
The witchcraft trials of Salem was a hysteria that swept through the state of Massachusetts; that would change the whole demeanor of the town. It all began when a group of girl; once friends, turned delinquents accused a number of women of performing the devils magic causing them to be possessed. Over the time of a year there was an overwhelming amount of accusation of witchcraft. The governor sought out to create a new court, calling it the "court of oyer and terminer". In this court is where 19 men and women would be convicted and executed by hanging for their alleged participation in witchcraft.
Bridget Bishop was the first of all the accused to be brought to trial. She was nearly sixty years old and a tavern owner. She was found guilty by jurors and sentenced to immediate hanging. George Burroughs the village’s ex-minister was also convicted and lost in court but not before reciting the Lord's Prayer perfectly, which "moved" the crowd. Giles Corey was too accused of witch craft. He was later
…show more content…
This is an insight into one of the many situation that have contributed to what has formed our judicial system to what it has become today. I’ve always been taught that witchcraft is in fact the work of the devil and that those that practice it will not be punished by law but will have to answer to God. There are many countries like Africa that still practices witchcraft; it is their norm. However those accused in Salem, were practicing right here in the United States and was prosecuted. The comparison in the article between Ergot and todays LCD is also good history. The ingestion of Ergot would cause convulsions and hallucination and that was just from ingesting a spoiled food. Today people are purposely ingesting LCD to achieve that same feeling. We don’t refer to those people as possessed but only as a drug abuser. Times have changed. It’s intriguing to see history repeat itself in such similar but also very different

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    The Salem Witch Trials begin in 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts. It was a series of chazak using men and women practicing witchcraft with led to a lot of conflict among the people in the Village of Salem. Many people were scared because they did not want to be accused of practicing witchcraft. This event led to many Family Feud's and religious Fanatics and people constantly living in fear. Although there are many women who are on trial for practicing witchcraft are also men who were accused of witchcraft. Over 200 people were accused of Witchcraft and about 140 to 150 people were arrested. There are 19 people who are hanged and one was tortured to death. If someone is that they would have to go in front of a judge and also tried in court and it…

    • 267 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Between the months of June to September of 1692, the infamous witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts resulted in the hanging of 19 men and women; the deaths of five others, including two children, while imprisoned in jail; the pressing to death of an 80-year old man, and the stoning of two dogs for collaborating with the Devil. Hundreds of others faced accusations and dozens more were jailed for months during the progress of the trials. For over three hundred years these events have not only captured the general publics' imagination, but that of the academic community. Beginning with Charles Upham, in 1867, historians have attempted to explain the mass hysteria that swept through Salem in 1692. These accounts vary both in their interpretation of the events and the aspects focused upon. For example, according to Upham, the afflicted girls, who were the principle witnesses against the witches, had deliberately lied. Succeeding generations of historians, however, had cited mass hysteria, rigors of puritan childrearing and ergot poisoning as explanations for the afflicted girls' behaviors. Furthermore, others have minimized the girls' involvement within the proceedings, focusing instead upon the issues surrounding the trials—political and economic factors, social concerns or interpersonal relationships between the accused and their accusers. Such authors as Enders A. Robinson, The Devil Discovered, Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed, and Mary Beth Norton, In the Devil's Snare, all provide compelling evidence as to why the witch hysteria erupted in Salem Village. However, no one narrative can, by itself, adequately explain why the hysteria was allowed to sweep across Salem Village and throughout Essex County virtually unchecked by the Puritan hierarchy or the royal government. In order to truly understand why these events transpired when and where they did, one must examine the witchcraft epidemic in its larger social context. It was not one…

    • 5009 Words
    • 21 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    He tells the story of a young girl named Kate Branch, who suffered from hallucinations, fear, and pain. In the story, Branch accuses 6 women of bewitching her, 2 of whom actually went to trial. By, using the narrative style, Godbeer helps the readers understand what was going on by using descriptive words making us feel like we are actually there inside the Connecticut courtroom. Elizabeth Clawson and Mercy Disborough were the two women put on trial, both facing a death sentence if the evidence was “proven” to be true. After more evidence, research, and several trials, the Courts final decision concluded that Clawson should be released, and Disborough be given the death…

    • 507 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Act Three Questions Directions On a separate sheet of paper, please answer each part of each question asked below. Please use complete sentences and please answer the question as asked. 1. As the act opens, who is being interrogated and on what charge Martha Corey is being interrogated by Judge Hathorne on the charge of telling fortunes (witchery). 2. What is interesting about the dialogue at the beginning of this act What was Miller trying to suggest about the tone of the legal proceedings to follow This indirect dialogue (off stage / only heard, not seen) suggests that although people will talk / be heard, the truth will not be seen / acknowledged. 3. What is Mary Warren now prepared to tell the court Mary Warren is prepared to the court that the girls have only been sporting, or pretending. They honestly have never seen or known a witch and theyve only lied to protect themselves by throwing suspicion on others. 4. What two facts about John Proctor does Ezekiel Cheever feel compelled to reveal to Danforth Ezekiel Cheever feels compelled to tell Deputy Governor Danforth that John tore up the arrest warrant for Elizabeth when Cheever served it and that Proctor sometimes plows on Sunday. 5. What compromise, or deal, does Danforth offer to Proctor What is Proctors response Why does he respond this way Because Elizabeth claims that she is pregnant, Danforth offers to not try her until after shes delivered her child if Proctor will drop the charge against the court that the proceedings have been unjust. Proctor said that he could not accept that plea because his friends wives, who are also innocent, have been charged and they need to be freed. He feels that the truth needs to come out to protect all of the innocent people. 6. How do Hathorne and Parris persuade Danforth to respond to the deposition that lists ninety-one supporters of Rebecca, Elizabeth, and Martha Corey Hathorne and Parris persuade Danforth that all of the ninety-one supporters must be…

    • 1850 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The Salem Witch Trials are known as a series of people being accused and prosecuted of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts beginning in February 1692 until May 1693. The trials began after a group of girls claimed that they were possessed by the devil. Several local women were accused of witchcraft and this began the wave of hysteria that would forever haunt Salem and leave a painful legacy for a long time to come. Nearly every major school of historians has attempted to explain the answer to the mystery of the trials, trying to understand why they occurred. From Marxists who blame class conflict, to Freudians who believe in mass hysteria, the more ecologically based historians who put the blame on hallucinogenic ergot fungus, and now more…

    • 322 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Bridget Bishop

    • 6102 Words
    • 25 Pages

    “The blackest chapter in the history of Witchcraft lies not in the malevolence of Witches but in the deliberate, gloating cruelty of their prosecutors.” When Theda Kenyon made this observation she was thinking about the atrocious behavior and actions that took place in Salem in 1692. During this tragic event neighbors were turned against one another and no bond was sacred. The men and women of Salem faced accusations from all directions and often the accusers were their close friends, business partners, and even their spouses. Panic filled Salem village and suddenly the slightest discrepancy in behavior became a reason to name someone as a witch. One of the greatest examples of how the hysteria brought upon lethal allegations for some of Salem’s citizen is the case of Bridget Bishop, the first person to be tried and executed for witchcraft in Salem.…

    • 6102 Words
    • 25 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    SALEM WITCHCRAFT TRIALS

    • 622 Words
    • 2 Pages

    The Salem Witchcraft Trials began in the 1690’s in Salem, Massachusetts and then later spread to other parts of New England. These trials resulted in the execution of about 20 people, most of them women, and innocent people. Hundreds of other individuals including men, women, and children were accused; dozens were kept in prison without trials, and a couple even died in prison. A wave of hysteria spread all over Massachusetts, when a group of girls began to display an odd and bizarre behavior. Over hundreds of years, historians have been trying to elaborate a conclusion and explain why Americans in the seventeenth-century became so committed to the idea of satanic rituals and scheming. There are many different interpretations of the Salem Witchcraft Trials, some of which include, ergot, lack of sunlight, and hysteria.…

    • 622 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Continuing with another primary source, the examination of Bridget Bishop, a young lady accused of being a witch, was recorded by the Village’s minister, Samuel Parris. Document F demonstrates how the accused was put on trial and examined with “solid” evidence. In this examination it is noted how Bishop’s actions would affect the afflicted girls. They all accused Bishop of hurting them and bewitching Bishop’s first husband. When she would come in close proximity to the girls, they would…

    • 758 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Salem Witch Trial

    • 815 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The Salem Witchcraft was a series of undesirable events, which was powered by paranoia and fear. Though several witch trials occurred before the Salem Witch Trial, this was the most well known of all. Many innocent people were accused of witchcraft which resulted to 19 men and women that were hanged, 17 innocents that died in unsanitary prisons, and an 80-year old man that was crushed to death by putting stones on top of his stomach until he confesses (movie: The Crucible). In some accounts, it was reported that two dogs were stoned to death for cooperating with the Devil. Why did the Salem Witch trial occur? Were these trials appropriate? Or were they truly a Devil's work? The Salem Witch Trials might have occurred for a variety of reasons such as people's ignorance that led to superstitions. It might have also occurred because people's crave for power, or it might also be because of fear.…

    • 815 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    In 1692, an event called the Salem Witch Trials occurred, because of this, the people from a village called Salem, Massachusetts were fearful because they could be accused a witch. This all started when a group of young girls began to act very strange. The behaviors of the girls’ ranged from, screaming, copying body movements, pain, falling on the floor, twitching, and many other symptoms.…

    • 247 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    Arguably, what we do not understand is how could the community believe every single word the young girls uttered in the first place? Surely, children are known for their imagination, so what was the reasoning behind trusting the girls and many other accusers and the deaths of many? It is peculiar how no one stood up and questioned whether the children should or should not be trusted. So many deaths may have originally been caused by children's...imagination. Document A is a chart of those who were killed on the trials. This shows how the community permitted the witchcraft trials go out of hand. Many lives could have been saved, if only the community had been more wary of the children. It was nothing but the ignorance of the community that led to the hanged deaths. Furthermore in Document C, the examination of Bridget Bishop, subjective words were used to exaggerate actions. This proves that the community, including Samuel Parris, trusted the accusers enough to kill the accused victims without much solid evidence. Worse yet, Document D, a piece of Charles' writing, reveals that they community was blind enough to believe the accusers. "Once or twice they were caught in their own snare; and nothing but the blindness of the community saved the most...from well deserved punishment." This quote determines the populations wrong…

    • 1031 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Salem witch trials began when the 9-year-old daughter of reverend Samuel Parris and his niece were diagnosed as being under Satan’s influence. The Salem witch trials were an inhumane and unfair series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. The trials resulted in the executions of twenty people, also four other accused and an infant child died in prison.…

    • 818 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    However most of the victims executed during the witchcraft trials were innocent. It all began in 1692 when people began screaming and doing strange dances in the woods. As the settlers began to notice the strange events occurring. They decided that the punishment for witchcraft was death. The only way some lived was when they confessed and helped convicted others. Some of the confessors lied and pointed fingers at innocent. During the salem witchcraft 20 people were executed. Now some people suggest the girls were suffering from epilepsy, boredom, child abuse, mental illness. One woman named Susannah Martin was accused of witchcraft. She had been accused of witchcraft before but she was found innocent. This time she was accused again by her neighbors and was hanged. Susannah had been extremely religious. While she was waiting for execution she comforted herself by reading her bible. Later on it was found that she had been linked to an inheritance dispute. During this time people were scared and miss judged some things. “It was the darkest and most desponding period in the civil history of New England. The people, whose ruling passion then was, as it has ever since been, a love for constitutional rights, had, a few years before, been thrown into dismay by the loss of their charter, and, from that time, kept in a feverish state of anxiety respecting their political destinies”( Brooks 1). After the witch trials ended people realized that some of the things done was…

    • 520 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Cannibalism In The Crucible

    • 2950 Words
    • 12 Pages

    In the early morning hours of March 24th 1692; long before the tales of the Brothers Grimm, stood 71 year old Rebecca Nurse. A simple woman from Salem Massachusetts who was accused of witchcraft by the prominent wife of a local official, Ann Putnam While she pleaded her innocence, the courtroom was apparently under her spell, and with every motion of her body the audience rolled on the floor in pain. While in today?s society we would rule this type of behavior ?mass hysteria? or ?mob mentality?, at the time these were tales of evil documented to warn us of the horrors of witchcraft. (Brandt 34-35). On July 19th she was executed with four other women as part of the long running Salem Witch trials. These heinous events sparked the fear society…

    • 2950 Words
    • 12 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The belief in witchcraft, or supernatural actions and the devil’s ability to give certain humans the power to harm others, in return for their loyalty, had been a part of traditional village culture in Europe since the 14th century. (history.com) The Salem witch trials took place between 1692 and 1693 in colonial Massachusetts. Two hundred people were accused of witchcraft and twenty people were executed. (smithsonianmag.com)…

    • 74 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays