Puritan Attitudes Towards The Witch Trials

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Ignorance of medical and scientific explanations: Puritan attitudes towards the witch trials were largely governed by the authoritative figures present at the time. Any medical explanation given was disregarded, thus showcasing how the villagers’ views could be easily manipulated. They chose to only consider two possible extremes for the cause of this outbreak; either the women were possessed or they were fabricating such behaviors. Chadwick Hansen describes the behavior of the bewitched being a 'neurotic syndrome '. It was known patients experiencing this disorder turned "their mental worries into physical symptoms such as blindness, paralysis of various parts of the body, choking, fainting, or attacks of pain"(The…show more content…
5. Evidently from the documents, the most frequently recurring phenomena the accusers felt was the witch 's presence awakening them in their slumber and in some cases said to be sitting on their chests choking them. The bewitchment of animals and creatures being another apparent part of testimonies. For instance, John Louder states "And some tyme after that I being not very well stayed at whome on a Lords day and on the after noon of s 'd day the dores being shutt I did see a black pig in the Roome Comeing towards mee soe I went towards itt to kick it and it vanished away,"(Bridget Bishop,TSB-4,11). He also "...did see a black thing Jump into the window and came & stood Just before my face, upon the bar the body of itt looked like a Munky only the feete ware like a Cocks feete w 'th Claws and the face somewhat more like a mans than a Munkies," which threatened him as well. The accused were also known to cause the death and sickness of children during the epidemic outbreak of allegations. In particular, we make take the case of Samuel Gray who stated "the child that before was a very Likely thriveing Child #[before] did pine away and was never well, althow it Lived some moneths after, yet in a sad Condition and soe dye,"(Bridget Bishop,TSB-4,9)the reason being it was an aftermath of Bishop 's presence

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