Salem Witch Hunt: A Major Tragedy In American History

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A major tragedy in American History occurred known as Salem Witch Hunt. In the year of 1692, 150 women and men had been accused, tortured, arrested, put to trial and charged with the crimes of witchcraft. The Salem witchcraft incident began when two young girls, nine-year old Elizabeth Parris and eleven year old Abigail Williams began to have strange fits. Samuel Parris did not believe that his daughter and niece were bewitched. However, Physician William Griggs believed, “the girls were under an evil hand” . Samuel and other ministries were convinced that someone had bewitched the girls which lead them to pray for an answer. At the end of February the girls accused three women of bewitching this lead to many trials. The first trial was scheduled for June2, 1692 in Salem Town which Bridget Bishop was the first to be convicted and sentenced …show more content…
At the trial Johnson explains, “Bishop was indicted for bewitching of several persons in the neighborhood, the indictment being drawn up, according to the form in such cases usual. And pleading, not guilty” . At the examination Bridget Bishop argued that she was not a witch and had nothing to do with it at all. Godbeer notes Bridget Bishop defended herself, “I am innocent. I know nothing of it. I have done no witchcraft” . However, Johnston states, “many neighbors witness and had evidence that Bridget Bishop was part of witchcraft and were destroying their lives by pinching them, choke them, biting them, and afflicting them; urging then to write their names in a book, which the said specter called, ours” . Bridget might have had a psychological illness such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or posttraumatic stress disorder that must have affected her behavior and lifestyle that lead people to believe that she was possessed by evil spirits. However, the accusers should have tackled the main psychological problems rather than blaming her for abnormal

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