The Salem Witch Trials<br />Salem, Massachusetts<br />January 20, 1692 – November 25, 1692<br />
How Did the trials Begin?<br />The village minister’s daughter, Betty Paris, and his niece, Abigail, became suddenly “ill”<br />The town’s doctor could not confirm a diagnosis so it was said that they were under the influence of witchcraft. <br />After the diagnosis many of the other girls in the town also became “infected” with the same disease<br />
What is witchcraft exactly?<br />Witchcraft is the power that a specific person has that is able to do harm to others and influence the acts of nature.<br />Many witches or wizards were believed to be healers, potion makers, candle makers, scientists, philosophy teachers, Psychics, and librarians.<br />
What were some of the Symptoms of being infected by witchcraft?<br />Throwing one’s self to the floor<br />Twitching<br />Screaming uncontrollably<br />Fever<br />Abdominal and muscular pain<br />
Who were the accused?<br />When the girls were forced to tell who was the start of the “witchcraft” they pointed out:<br />Tituba – Betty Paris’ father’s slave<br />Sarah Osborne<br />Sarah Good <br />
Tituba<br />Tituba was the slave of Reverend Samuel Paris<br />She was originally from a small village in south America<br />She was brought to Barbados and then sold into slavery<br />She told stories of witchcraft and fortune telling to the girls in Salem<br />
When it came time for the women to appear in court, Tituba pleaded guilty. Sarah Good and Sarah Osborn refused to be called a witch and were put under interrogation.<br />The two women were asked questions repeatedly some of them were:<br />“Are you involved in any form of witch craft?”<br />“Are you or were you ever a witch?”<br />“Do you know how the girls in the town became sick?”<br />The Trials<br />
The Accused<br />A total of 141 people were accused<br />19 were hung at Gallows hill<br />One died due to being crushed to death<br />7 others died in prison<br />Most of the men and women who were accused were wealthy and over the age of sixty<br />
What actually caused the girls to have such odd behavior?<br />There are many theories that are believed to cause the girls to have their particularly odd behavior<br />Rye mold – Rye mold is known to cause hallucinogenic chemicals that may have led to hallucinations <br />Actual witches and wizards<br />Ergot poisoning – caused by the consumption of bread the was contaminated by the Ergot fungus<br />Arguments between families<br />The thought of gaining more land<br />
What ended the trials?<br />Ministers started to not believe in witchcraft<br />Overturned convictions <br />Compensation to the relatives of the victims<br />“It were better than ten suspected witches should escape than one innocent person should be condemned.”<br />- Reverend Increase Mather<br />This is the document that ended the Salem Witch Trials.<br />
What do people think today of what caused the Salem witch trials?<br />Many people today believe that people were accused of witchcraft because of the large amounts of land that many of the accused owned in the town of Salem.<br />
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