Outcasts: The Causes Of The Salem Witch Trials

Improved Essays
The Salem Witch Trials persecuted many innocent outcasts in Salem, Massachusetts in the year of 1692. These outcasts were innocent but became the victims of accusations without solid evidence. The accused were not viewed as normal citizens, but became seen by the people of Salem as witches or worshippers of Satan. The trials were filled with ignorance and paranoia over the safety of themselves and their family. Due to hysteria the Salem Witch Trials occurred and resulted in the death of twenty innocent villagers. The accused were tried and hanged or even crushed. The accused were also killed without having enough evidence to prove that they were witches. The witch trials began in Salem, Massachusetts during the last weeks of December …show more content…
Betty Parris, the daughter and Abigail Williams who was the niece of Reverend Samuel Parris began to display odd behavior. Examples of the odd behavior they were displaying were hysterical fits that took away their ability to see, speak and hear. Also the girls suffered from seizures that contorted their bodies into impossible positions(Lidenauer). Reverend Parris called upon a local doctor to determine the cause of the odd behavior. The doctor suspected the devils work because mysterious ailments were normally attributed to the devil according to the Puritans (Lidenauer). Being under pressure by Reverend Parris the girls named their tormentor. Their tormentor was a Carib slave named …show more content…
There were nineteen villagers that were hanged and one was crushed to death during the Salem Witch trials (Salem Witch Trials). Those that were hanged died at Gallows Hill (Brooks). Some of the accused had even died in the jail. After a while skepticism increased about the evidence of the outcasts because of the high status of some of the accused, many of the clergy and political leaders showed their opposition to the trials, convictions, and executions by having the court of Oyer and Terminer (Miller). The Court of Oyer and Terminer literally translates to “To Hear and Determine” (Miller). It was established on May 27, 1962 to manage all of the Witchcraft trials. Nine judges were assigned to the court. The Jury was required to sit and listen to the evidence that was presented then make their decision on whether the accused were witches or not (Magoon). Phips dismissed the court of Oyer and Terminer on October 29 because of lack of evidence (Brooks ). The cases that had not yet occurred were moved to take place in a new court. Most of the prisoners that remained were found not guilty or they were released due to lack of evidence. Those who were found guilty were pardoned by Governor Phips. Phips released the last few prisoners that remained the following May (Brooks). The picture below is Gallows

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    About twenty more townspeople were executed for witchcraft and some died while in jail. Eventually, the public ceased to support the trials and the Court of Oyer and Terminer was dissolved on October 29th, 1692 by Governor Phips. Years later, these trials were considered unjust tragedies by the courts of Massachusetts. The Crucible happened chronological order and took place during the 1692 Salem witch trials in Massachusetts. The story revolved around this small religious community and how they reacted to suspected witchcraft and sorcery.…

    • 1058 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Salem Witch Trials In 1692 in Salem Village, Massachusetts, many of the young girls and women were complaining of being possessed by the devil due to witchcraft. However, none of the villagers were certain of who was doing the witchcraft. The girls accused many other women and some men in the village out of revenge or pure hatred. “Thousands of suspected witches were hanged or burned in Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and belief in witches was common in the American colonies”. (The American Spirit, pg.…

    • 978 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    With the problems that were happening with the court system it showed throughout the community. It took almost an entire year for them to realize that they were wrongfully convicting and executing people. The worst part of the witch trials is many of them new that they were wrongfully accusing people but was too afraid to stand trial or do something about it. “Samuel Sewall, one of the judges issued a public confession of guilt and apology.” After the witch trials was over many of the judges and jury came out expressing how they were guilty of convicting and executing people. Majority of the puritans realized that they were wrong but by then it was too late twenty people had already been killed.…

    • 1511 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Do you believe in Satan, the devil, or even witches? In the years 1692-1693, in a town called Salem, two-hundred people were accused of being witches, and twenty of those people were executed. Many other places such as England were very religious at the time. The Witch Trials were caused by the fear of the devil and anyone associated with him. Not only were women incriminated as witches, men were accused too.…

    • 834 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    If we look at the supposed crimes today we would find a logical explanation for every one of the crimes that were committed, for example John Law could have just simply have had a stroke. These fear based laws and persecutions led to the death of ten people for commenting crimes that no longer are accredited. The Bideford Witches In 1862 three women were hanged after being found guilty of being witches in Bideford, North Devon England. These three women are the last three women to be executed after being convicted of witchcraft. The women hold this tragic name in history are Temperance Lloyd, Mary Trembles, and Susanna Edwards.…

    • 1455 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    The Salem Witch Trials

    • 2310 Words
    • 9 Pages

    The puritans soon were convicted of witch trials of Salem because people believed the devil was the cause of all this, they accused older women to being witches but they only chose the ones that were vulnerable to the community. The way they selected their women depended of how weak the women they chose were. They believed in the super-natural and specifically in the devil’s practice of giving certain humans or witches the power to harm others in return for their loyalty had emerged in Europe as early as the 14th century, and was widespread in colonial New England. Rampant fear among the puritans in the New England village of Salem sparked attacks against anyone who was suspected of witchcraft; really the Salem witch trials were about the fear of women, what they were seeing was people acting differently that had many men and women threatening. The people of Salem didn’t think they were doing wrong because to them it wasn’t surprising that there was an attack…

    • 2310 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Many people accused each other of being witches to ensure their own survival, not caring about those they accused. This led to many people being tried and hanged as witches. Through these events, the witch trials revealed three characteristics of humanity that drove the people in Salem to carry out the trials; reputation, self-preservation, and fear. In “The Crucible,” Arthur Miller reveals the flawed side of humanity through characterization, dramatization, and imagery. The first flawed characteristic…

    • 1334 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    “The tight-knit community was at a loss to explain the convulsive seizures, blasphemous screaming, and trance-like states that afflicted the youngsters. The physicians called in to examine the girls could find no natural cause of the disturbing behavior” (The Salem Witch Trials, 1692). Since people in this time period were very religious, hysteria and speculation started going around. “If the source of the affliction where the trials took place was not attributable to a physical malady, the community reasoned that it must be the work of Satan. Witches had invaded Salem” (The Salem Witch Trials, 1692).…

    • 497 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Many suspected witchcraft and she was quickly found guilty of witchcraft by the court and was sentenced to be hanged. On June 10, 1692 Bridget Bishop was the first to be hanged for witchcraft in Salem. Some of the judges that found Bridget guilty even appeared at her execution. One of the judges resigned after the hanging, because he felt that what he had done was wrong, he was then suspected of witchcraft; however, he was not found guilty. Most of the witches who were found guilty were hanged, however, one man who was accused of witchcraft died in a very different and shocking…

    • 1752 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Giles states, “They be tellin’ lies about my wife, sir, I-” (III, i, 79-80). Rumors were going around about Giles’ wife that she was a witch. The rumor affected Giles by making him mad because he knows the witch trials are all lies. With the girls going around and accusing all of these rumors, everyone is affected because they are all innocent but no one knows what to believe. The witch trials not being true effects John Proctor by him giving up on proving they are…

    • 1416 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays

Related Topics