Causes Of The Salem Witch Trials

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The Salem Witch Trials : People Involved, Causes and Trial Tests

Considered to be one of the most infamous events in United States history, the Salem Witch Trials caused around 200 people to be executed while seven men and 13 women were given the death penalty. There were many people involved that greatly influenced the Salem Witch Trials. Witch Trials tests were performed hundreds of times in order to determine who was a witch. Occuring in 1692, the Salem Witch Trials were a series of events that involved many people, had several different causes and performed dozens of witch trial tests.

During this time, there were many people involved that greatly influenced the Salem Witch Trials. Two of the most influential were two young girls who sparked the trials by accusing local witches of using witchcraft on them. The two girls were cousins and their names were Betty Parris and Abigail Williams. According to Jeffrey Russell in A History of Witchcraft: Sorcerers, Heretics and Pagans, “Two small girls aged nine and eleven began experimenting with divination in a half-serious attempt to discover who their future husbands would be. As often happens with people who play with magic, the children became terrified and began to exhibit nervous symptoms, thrashing about and assuming odd postures” (114) Apparently, they were playing around and it quickly turned into something much more serious. Betty and Abigail soon began having fits during their outbursts of screaming. Since this was
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