Salem Witch Trials
Why the Trials Began...
Betty Parris became very ill. Since modern medicine was not advanced (um, more like non-existent), the people of Salem had to search for another answer as to her illness: witchcraft!
Other girls were showing the same symptoms. Ann Putnam, Mary Warren, and Abigail Williams were exhibiting odd behaviors not typical of a good Puritan. People became worried...
In 1692, hundreds were accused of witchery and 19 people (and a dog) were hanged for the crime of witchcraft. One person was "pressed" to death because he would not confess "yes" or "no" to witchcraft.
The above picture is George Burrough's hanging.
Various explanations exist. From ergot poisoning to spoiled children, no answer exists. All we do know is the people of Salem were near hysteria, determined to rid Salem of evil. (Little did they know that that evil was rampant within the people of Salem: They were the very evil they were trying to eradicate.)