Outcasts: The Causes Of The Salem Witch Trials

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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

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