The Witch Hunts And Trials Essay

1219 Words Sep 19th, 2014 5 Pages
Salem village was thrown in an uproar in 1692, when several young girls complained of being bewitched and showed physical “fits”. Despite the fact that the girls initially accused only one as a witch, the charges and accusations increased. The witch hunts and trials left 200 people standing accused, and twenty who were executed, creating a dismal period in American History (Schweikart and Allen 30). It first began in January of 1692. A group of young girls, who later became known as the “afflicted girls”, fell ill and started behaving strangely. The first to start experiencing symptoms was Betty Parris, followed by Ann Putnam, Abigail Williams, Mercy Lewis, and Mary Walcott. Shortly after five more girls also began to experience the same symptoms, consisting of contorting in pain, hiding under furniture, “fits”, and experiencing fever. Numerous modern theories propose that the girls were suffering from boredom, epilepsy, mental illness, child abuse, or even a disease caused by eating rye infected with fungus (Brooks). Samuel Parris called for a doctor in February to examine the girls. Unable to find anything physically wrong, he suggested they may be bewitched. Two of the girls identified who they believed were bewitching them soon after. The women were Sarah Osburn, Sarah Good, and a slave named Tituba who worked for Samuel Parris, who were social outcasts and easy targets for the accusation (Brooks). They were all arrested and examined on March 1st. Whereas Sarah Good…

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