The Salem Witch Trials affected many different villagers and their families. More than eighty people were accused of practicing witch craft and even accused of being witches.” Surely the devil had come to Salem in 1692. Young girls screaming and barking like a dog? Strange dances in the woods? This was behavior hardly becoming of virtuous teenage maidens.
The judges knew that the witchcraft was a myth but didn’t do anything about it. Danforth and Hathorne often rejected logical facts and refused to head testimonies proving innocence because so many people were accused. After a while, it became clear to everyone in the town, including the judges, the accusations were false. These judges instead of revealing the truth they clung to their pride and ignored what was happening in front of them. If word got out that they sent several innocent people to their deaths their reputation would be ruined and they would be out of their jobs.
In Witches: The Absolutely True Tale Of Disaster In Salem by Rosalyn Schanzer people in the town of Salem were Condemned for being witches. By the end of it all more than 200 people were accused and 20 were executed. Horridly they accused people from all ages, everyone from teenager to ancient was accused. But why? The Salem Witch Trials were caused by hysteria, popularity, and revenge.
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.
Imagine living life in fear of being hanged or burned to death on accusation of witchcraft. This was the reality for countless men and women alike, during the Witch Trials of the mid-1600s. One such person was a homeless woman named Sarah Good. Good was considered a burden to society, therefore accused of witchcraft and sentenced to be hanged. Although she was pardoned until the birth of her child, that same child perished in prison before her execution (Jobe).
Also, the accusations themselves were just incredibly random, and the judges were so gullible that they would just believe almost anything. The accusers had absolutely no evidence is a reason for the unfairness of the Salem Witch Trials. Towards the end of the book, they started using what is known as spectral evidence, which is basically referring to “a witness testimony that the accused person’s spirit or spectral shape
Such similarities include the false imprisonment of innocent people based off of prejudice beliefs and heavily biased justice systems. The Salem Witch Trials began in the year 1692 when several young girls in Salem, Massachusetts were acting so strange that they were believed to be under a witch’s spell (Schiff). When confronted, the girls began accusing others of practicing witchcraft (Schiff). Many people were soon accusing others or being accused of witchcraft; they were being accused for various reasons such as unexplained illnesses, failed crops, or a woman could even be accused if she could open something a man could not (Brandt, p. 38). As stated in Anthony Brandt’s article, An Unholy Mess, “Legally, spectral evidence was not grounds for convicting a witch.
Inhumane actions are cruel and unnecessary. During the period of the Salem Witch Trials, the accusations had no physical proof other than the words of young girls such as Betty Paris and Abigail Williams. Rumors spread around the village that the accusations made by the girls were starting to become false considering they were accusing outstanding members of the community and Puritan Church. Rumors were also going around the village whenever the girls accused a women named Elizabeth Procter. Elizabeth Procter was married to John Procter who supposedly had an affair with Abigail Williams.
The Salem witch trials proved to be one of the most cruel and fear driven events to ever occur in history. Many innocent people were accused of witchcraft, and while some got out of the situation alive not everyone was as lucky. Arthur Miller the author of The Crucible conveys this horrific event in his book and demonstrates what fear can lead people to do. But the reason as to why Arthur Miller felt the need to write The Crucible in the first place was because the unfortunate reality that history seemed to have repeated itself again. In the article “Are You Now or Were You Ever”, Arthur Miller claims that the McCarthy era and the Salem witch trials were similar and he does this through his choice of diction, figurative language, and rhetorical questions.