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The Salem Witch Trials: A Terrible Tragedy

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In 1692 a terrible tragedy occurred, it killed many and lead a town into ruins. This tragedy was the Salem Witch Trials. The witch trials started with two girls, Betty Parris and Abigail Williams, who were thought to have fallen ill. their illness was classified as bewitchment due to their abnormal symptoms such as twitching, choking, and contorting their bodies in abnormal shapes. They soon began to accuse people in the town of witchcraft. Others in the town began to join in on the accusations and the town was terrified. Once the town calmed down it was too late, sixteen victims had been hung, one pressed, and one, four year old Dorcas Good, had went insane. No one knows exactly why this happened, but Rosalyn Schanzer’s book Witches! The…show more content…
just like today, kids will follow along with their peers or parents. “And Lewis said it was all the fault of Martha Cory, the very same Gospel Woman that Ann had already accused. Like Ann, Lewis claimed that she saw Martha Cory’s spirit roasting a spectral man on a spit inside her fireplace”(Schanzer 45). If one person became afraid of another because they were seen doing strange things or wearing strange vestments, then they might convince others that the person is an imp or a witch/wizard. “Common history has painted Annand her young peers as selfish, vicious fakers who fueled the witchcraft trials out of boredom or spite. This portrait, however, is somewhat flawed as it appears that in Ann’s case at least, the parents of the afflicted must have a strong influence with the child, as did the other adult accusers. Initially, Ann was fed names by her parents and minister”(-Minerdescent). The girls that were tricked into believing that the accused were guilty were most likely convinced that this was pious and that God wanted them to accuse the innocent. Or the girls might be influenced by their religion, reverends, and ministers. “These evil spirits are all around…. Go tell mankind that there are devils and witches…. New England has had examples of their existence…. and that not only the wigwams of Indians…. but the houses of Christians… have undergone the annoyance…show more content…
It last theory is that the afflicted girls accused the victims because they wanted revenge, but it is unlikely for children to hold a grudge with so many people. Most of the accusers came from high families, “Was some of the witch hunting the result of that big fight between Reverend Parris and the members of his congregation who refused to pay his salary”(- Schanzer 113)? Could it be that the parents of the accusers were malicious and fervently wanted to purposely cause their enemies to be condemned to death. It is quite a possibility due to the fact that people were not as friendly with each other as they are today. “But in the trials, neighbors also testified against neighbors, bringing up grievances as a way of getting revenge”(-Spiritual Travels). This would explain why so many people were accused. “In conclusion, the residents of Salem Village usually accused their neighbors of witchcraft because it was very common to have a history of conflict or tension with your neighbor at the time”(Teenink.com). Even if no one can prove that these were the main reasons for the Salem Witch Trials and there are still many other theories, these three give the best explanation. These three theories show that the girls only did i because they were ill or believed that it was right because someone they looked up to told them to do it. Although many lives were lost, we now
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