Mental Illness In The Salem Witch Trials

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Nineteen people were hung due to false judgement by human nature and society. Taking place in a small village called Salem, inside of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, during a depressing seventeenth century, was a movement that would challenge the nation’s religious and psychological beliefs. Innocent people were being accused of witchcraft, when rather they were just ill or not taken care of properly by family and friends. Thought to be caused by stress, fear, and panic, the Salem Witch Trials was an event that changed the nation’s view on mental illness because of false assumptions and mischievous behavior. The Salem Witch Trials was a series of false accusations of witchcraft taking place in Salem, which during the seventeenth century, was apart of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The trials began in February of 1692, when the first three victims, Sarah Good, Sarah Osbourne, and a slave girl named Tituba, were sentenced to their hangings (Brooks). They were caught in the winter of 1691, playing a fortune telling game with a makeshift ball (Boyer). Tituba, owned by Reverend Samuel Paris, confessed to be a witch working with the devil to tear apart the village (Campbell). Her confession…show more content…
Many inmates were able to escape prisons due to shortage of staff, however. The average victim was a woman in her 40’s or older, many of which were in their 60’s (“Salem Witch Trials”). Almost all the men accused of witchcraft during the trials was related to a woman who had been accused prior. Accusations were usually directed towards colonists in the higher wealth class, in contrast to English witchcraft accusations which were directed towards the poor wealth class (Campbell). As well as humans, two dogs were shot and killed after being accused of witchcraft, showing that just about anything could be accused of witchcraft in Salem during the late seventeenth
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