Salem Witch Trials Essay

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The Salem Witch Trials were a series of court cases surrounding the mystery of witchcraft in the small town of Salem Village. More than 150 people were accused, and 20 were executed ( Many people such as Samuel Parris, Abigail Williams and victims of the hysteria kept the madness going. Before understanding why the Salem Witch Trials happened, one must understand what happened.

Before Salem, witch trials had taken place in England long before salem . Through the 15th and 18th centuries, 40,000-60,000 people were executed ( This amount people were executed because witches were thought to be the devil’s servants, sent to hurt or kill innocent people. One factor of this was that everyone could accuse anyone of …show more content…

After his father’s death in 1673, Parris knew he needed to move somewhere for financial success ( When his Caribbean sugar trade failed, he finally decided to become a minister in New England. He eventually came to Salem Village and became the minister. Not many people liked him, but they still respected him because of his status. This was because he preached about the devil and how Salem was infested with servants of the devil. On March 27th, 1692 Parris said “Occasioned by dreadfull Witchcraft broke out here a few weeks past, & one Member of this Church, & another of Salem upon publick examination by Civil Authority vehemently suspected for Shee-Witches, & upon it Committed”. His position in the town gave him many advantages. One was that he had the ability to easily accuse his enemies, or outsiders in the town. And could also easily gather the town. It wasn’t just Parris who accused witches, his niece Abigail Williams did …show more content…

She lived with her uncle, which was normal at the time, along with her cousin Betty, who was nine. A few days after Parris’ sermon on January 3, 1692, Abigail and Betty started to exhibit odd behaviors . Their bodies would twist and they would crouch under chairs (Benoit, 9) . After new research, it was found that the girls were actually suffering from mass hysteria ( Abigail's accusations included Martha Cory, George Burroughs, Bridget Bishop, The Proctors, Mary Easty, John Willard, Mary Witheridge, and Rebecca Nurse. Overall, she professionally testified at seven cases and was involved in almost 17 cases. It is crazy how an 11 year old girl “killed” 10 people, one being John Proctor.
Born in Ipswich, Massachusetts, John Proctor was only 60 years old when tried and hung. As soon as he was able to, he leased a 700- acre farm in Salem Village. All throughout the trials, he questioned the reliability of somethings, such as “spectral evidence”. This is when someone sees a ghost of the accused trying to hurt them. Because of this, he was accused and hung in August. Some of the executed include: Bridget Bishop, Rebecca Nurse, Sarah Good, Sarah Wiles and John Willard. Everyone knows now that all of these people were innocent, but people did not know this at the

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