Salem Witch Trials

The Salem Witch Trials begin in the Spring of 1692 in Salem Village, Massachusetts. From June to September 19 men and women were convicted of witchcraft, were carried to Gallows Hill, a barren slope near Salem village, to be hanged. Another man over 80 years old was pressed to death under heavy stones for refusing to submit to a trial on witchcraft charges. Hundreds of others faced accusations of witchcraft deteriorated in jail for months with trials until the frenzy that swept through Puritan Massachusetts lessened. The first to be tried was Bridget Bishop of Salem, who was accused of witchcraft by more people than any other defendant. Bishop was know around town for her doubtful moral character who attended taverns, dressed colorfully, and was married 3 times. She announced her innocence, but was found guilty and executed by hanging on June 10.

The trials went from 1 to 19 very fast and my thinking is that once people figured you could accuse someone of witchcraft they are automatically guilty. Some people would do accuse their friends, family, or neighbors or just even people they didn't like in order to get back at them. If you isolated yourself from everyone or was quiet you were assumed to be a witch. As 1692 passed into 1693 the hysteria began to lose steam. The Governor of the Colony, hearing his wife was accused of witchcraft ordered an end to the trials. However, 20 people and 2 dogs were executed for witchcraft in Salem. The Salem witch trials have interested so many people, today many people dress up as witches for Halloween, there have been movies made: The Crucible (1996), and The Salem Witch Trials (2002), there is even a show on WGN America called Salem that premiered in 2014.

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