Irresponsible And Informative Essay: The Salem Witch Trials

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The Salem witch trials were established in the spring of 1692, in Salem Village, Massachusetts after a group of young girls claimed to be possessed by the devil and indicted local women of witchcraft. Hysteria soon spread throughout colonial Massachusetts, and a court was assembled in Salem to hear these cases. Malefic witchcraft did exist in Salem, Massachusetts in the seventeenth century, but were the Salem Witch Trials an irresponsible act of the clergy and magistrates? Or was it something more logical? It all began when local Salem girls were caught telling fortunes with a crystal ball, whilst claiming they were being choked, pinched and pricked. One of the girls was Samuel Parris, the town’s new minister’s, daughter. Parris and other…show more content…
Considering this, mainly women were targeted for witchcraft, and only five men were ever killed. As a matter of fact, three-fourths of the people accused were women, and of the women accused, “a large number were middle aged women with no male relatives to defend them, and another favorite target were the cranky and irritable,” states Edward Queen in his Salem Witch Trials Article. The clergy and magistrates blatantly used the community’s fear and panic to gain more irresponsible power over the people of Salem, while the spiritual leaders also did nothing to extinguish the fear of the…show more content…
Spectral evidence is evidence of a ghostly apparition or a ghost itself, so witnesses could claim a spirit accused someone of witchcraft, or forced them to commit and act such as, signing the Devil’s Book. Though the Special Court of Oyer and Terminer heavily relied on spectral evidence, when the town’s leaders began getting accused of witchcraft as a result of spectral evidence, the use of it was banned. This could be because of the irresponsibility of the authorities and their ignorance that allowed over a hundred people to be jailed for witchcraft. So, when their own people got accused, they didn’t want to jail them. Another reason, and a more logical reason for the Salem Witch Trials could have been due to a common grain fungus in rye called ergot. During the witch trials, many people were reported having hallucinatory fits, seizures, muscle spasms, and delusions. These reactions, are symptoms of ergotism (ergot poisoning), which many people thought to be the signs of
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