What is the definition of witch-trials? The witch trials were a series of persecutions and prosecutions that occurred between the 15th and 17th century in Europe. Thousands of individuals (women) were accused of witchcraft during this time and were subjected to trials, torture, and death. From substantial evidence, the trials frequently featured charges based on hearsay, gossip, and supposition. Several of the accused were subjected to brutal questioning and torture to elicit confessions, and others were killed solely based on their confessions. They have been seen as a mirror of the times' fears and tensions, as well as a warning of the risks of public frenzy, bigotry, and injustice. Witch-hunts were triggered by several circumstances, including …show more content…
He was a German herdsman from the town of Oberstdorf who was convicted and hanged for witchcraft after experiencing several visions. All these dreams began with an arrangement he made with his greatest companion. One night, they both drank too much and began theorizing about the afterlife. That night, they made a deal that whichever died first would return and tell the other what it was like. That dearest friend died a few weeks later. He returned to inform Chonrad that he should give up his sinful ways since the hereafter was a horrible realm of punishment. Chonrad was afterwards escorted by an angel which was considered “The Phantoms of the Night”, who brought him and a mob of people to various locations in the heavens and hell, where he witnessed numerous marvels. These Phantoms taught Stoeckhlin accused a local 60-year-old lady, Anna Enzensberg, of being a witch, based on what he heard from the phantoms. She was subsequently detained, and the authorities began to question Chonrad's method of designating witches. The authorities refused to accept that the "night phantoms" of which he talked were benign spirits, associating Stoeckhlin's meetings with the witch's sabbat. After a few months of torture, he confessed to being a witch, to having been taught …show more content…
In certain situations, a voice of reason would emerge in society, advocating for the frenzy to halt and for the guilty to be handled properly. Jean Bodin has the right notion when it comes to how witchcraft might end. He served as the king of France's royal counselor in addition to being a law professor at Toulouse. There was a conviction that it was advantageous to execute all witches and that if we executed more witches, there would be less to discuss. The two effects on eliminating witchcraft that Bodin discusses that caught my attention were the fifth and the seventh, “The fifth effect is to reduce the number of the wicked… The seventh aim is to punish the wicked.” (Bodin, 291). His thoughts were to spread fear in people so that they would not disseminate concepts about the devil and witchcraft. So, he reasoned that if we executed all of the witches, there would be nothing to talk about and no one attempting to persuade others to the devil rather than God. In fact, neither their wealth nor their friends will be able to shield them from God's wrath, in other circumstances, the accused would be able to establish their innocence, and the allegations would be dropped. According to Bodin (Bodin, 291). According to this scripture, God alone is the only one who can forgive these witches of their sins. In some cases, the witch-hunts would just fizzle out, with people losing interest or
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Throughout history there have been many events which fit into the criteria of a witch hunt, literally and metaphorically. From the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 portrayed in The Crucible and McCarthyism during WW2, to modern day issues such as terrorism witch hunts have plagued history. Today, these “witch hunts” have gotten more realistic and are backed up by actual threats to society. Although, they are still related to the original witch hunts of Salem as there are many people searching for large amounts of a certain type of people. However, modern day witch hunts clearly have the same cause/ effect as the actual Salem witch trials.
During this series of court proceedings and examinations by the upper level of the court system, Elizabeth Clarke, Anne Weste, Elizabeth Gooding, Rebecca Weste, Hellen Clarke, and Anne Leech were all accused of witchcraft. Of these six women, only Elizabeth Gooding pleaded innocent to the accusations of witchcraft. Anne Weste had previously been convicted for witchcraft and was now a repeated offender, which carries a harsher sentencing. In the examinations, we see that these women are built up to be witches based on the English stereotype of witches. All of the women are accused of and admit to having a familiar spirit which they nurse with their own bodies.
Characters who confess and name other “witches” are viewed as glorious people who ultimately choose God over the Devil, giving them power over others in the village. In contrast, characters who deny witchcraft claims are disgraced. Accused witches who do not confess are convicted and executed
1) The Salem Witch Trials, which began in 1692, was a phenomenon of hysteria that took over the colonial Massachusetts ("Salem Witch Trials"). Back in 1692, a lot of things were happening around town that people could simply not understand. A group of young ladies were accused of witchcraft and were claimed to be possessed by the devil, in Salem Village, Massachusetts ("Salem Witch Trials"). These young girls were accused of witchery, because they were chanting something abnormal while twirling in a circle. Later, people began blaming each other of witchery, because of a person's criminal act or unexplained events.
The people accused would be tried and if they admitted to practicing witchcraft and making deals with the devil they faced jail time. But if they denied it they were often tortured and abused to try and get a confession out of them. If they still refused to admit to working with the devil they were often times hung. Anyone could be accused of being a witch, it didn’t matter age or gender. But it was often times women that were accused of being witches.
The Salem Witch Trials were a series of trials against witches in Salem. As idiotic as that sounds that is as simple a definition as one can give it. Between February of Sixteen Ninety two and May of Sixteen Ninety three, twenty people were executed on the accusations of “Witchcraft.” The accused would be rushed through a trial and publicly executed before the public. After they were executed vigilantes would generally go after their families as well due to them being satanic for “housing witches”.
Cotton Mather accused many people of witchcraft based off of confessions. This is not enough evidence because these people’s minds have been influenced and changed so much by the devil that they are not longer themselves. They are acting on behalf of the devil and therefore can not be killed based off witchcraft charges. Stopping the witch trials will save countless lives and will also allow the people to help the accused witches with the real problem they have. If these witches are that much of a problem to anyone, why can’t such people just jail the witches.
In the clergy men’s eyes, it is better to murder someone who might be a witch, than let them live. With a biased court, either the odds are for you are against you. With an unfair trial, regardless of innocence, if you did not confess to witchcraft, you were
A witch is someone that is supposed to have evil, magic powers, and is working with the devil. The Salem Witch Trials was a notorious time in history, when many people endured unfathomable deaths. All of this commotion started in the 14th century across the pond in Europe. The belief in witches was spread to New England. This was around the time of January 1692 in Massachusetts.
A quote from PBS states “ Ultimately, more than 150 “witches” were taken into custody; by late September 1692, 20 men and women had been put to death, and five more accused had died in jail. None of the executed confessed to witchcraft. Such a
After this incident, many others became paranoid of the idea of witches and because of this, many more people were accused. Not only were 20 people executed for the accusation of using ``devils magic”, but over 200 people were accused of using it. Researchers today have many different ideas as
Out of the accused, 19 people were hanged for the “crimes” that they had not confessed to. This was how the trials usually went. An accused witch was thrown in jail and called to plead their case in court. If said person does not confess to the crime of being a witch, they are presumed guilty and are scheduled to be hanged. For example, a report from History.com states, “Though Good and Osborn denied their guilt, Tituba confessed.
The peak of witch-hunting occurred between 1560 and 1630, which saw a drastic rise in hunts, trials, and executions throughout much of Europe. In some cases, witch hunts and trials would escalate into a full-blown witch panic, where entire villages, towns, or regions got caught up in the hysteria and witnessed a large number of hunts and executions within a short period of time. Unfortunately, it is somewhat difficult to establish what specific factors led to any particular witch hunt; it is an even greater challenge to comprehend the complexities behind the outbreak of a complete panic. However, throughout the peak of the witch hunting period it is evident that witches were increasingly perceived as a malevolent threat to the public good,
The first known witch hunts took place in the early 1300’s (Wallenfeldt). As early as the 1400’s, prominent and trustworthy European figures like the pope released pamphlets on finding and persecuting witches (Saari 13-15). The Salem Witch Trials weren’t even the first to occur in America; a woman in Boston had been hung for witchcraft shortly before the Salem trials began. The people of Salem even cited the Boston trials as proof for their accusations; because their afflicted girls had the same symptoms as those in Boston, then clearly both must have been telling the truth (Alexander 194). It would make sense for Salem residents to look to past events to try and understand their current situation, since this is something that happens frequently through history and even
Out of these accusations, twenty four of them were killed by being hung, and one by being pressed to death. Many believe that most of these witches were burned, but that information is false. Not all of the accused townspeople were killed, due to the fact that they confessed to associating themselves with witchcraft and the devil. To the government, these confessions were a good thing, meaning that the people were now in the hands of god and could be saved. Even though they still never participated in witchcraft.