What Are The Causes Of The Salem Witch Trials

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The famous episode in American history, the Salem witch trials of 1692, resulted in the execution by hanging fourteen women and five men accused of being witches. one man was also pressed to death by heavy weights, for refusing to plea. Eight people died in prison, including one infant and one child. More than one hundred and fifty individuals were jailed, while awaiting trial. Due to many relevant records, including notes, depositions, and official rulings, the main facts of the accusations, arrests, trials, and executions are known by many. What has always engaged people, is the search for the causes of the "witch hysteria." There are many explanations for the witchcraft occurrence. The Salem Witch Trials is looked upon as the reason the …show more content…
“ Sometime during the early winter of 1692, Betty Parris and Abigail Williams, two young residents of the quiet Massachusetts hamlet of salem village, started to act very peculiarly ”. People in the village did not understand why this was happening, due to them thinking god had a reason for everything. This is because this incident all happened during the puritan times. The Puritans were a group of English Reformed Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to "purify" the Church of England from all Roman Catholic practices, maintaining that the Church of England was only partially reformed.”. Abigail and Betty were the first two girls to start acting strange. “ Two young girls in the household of Reverend Samuel Parris- his 9 year old daughter, Betty, and 11 year old niece, Abigail Williams- started suffering strange and frightening fit and distempers [mental disturbances] ”. The girls displayed fits such as screaming, throwing things, and making strange sounds, all was odd behavior, especially them complaining about being pinched or pricked. These fits became so big that they had the two girls evaluated and the doctor claimed they had black magic, and that they were victims of witchcraft. Things became even more hectic when other girls began to follow Betty and Abigail, leaving the people to either believe they are just doing it for attention or they …show more content…
One of the factors would be religion.“ Just about everyone in Puritan Massachusetts- educated and uneducated, young and old alike- believed in the existence of diabolical witchcraft (witchcraft influenced by devil) ”. People during this time believed in the devil and his works, known as witchcraft. Witchcraft is a religion based on fear of the devil and damnation. This all led to the famous historical witch hunts in Europe. The location caused land property disputed. Also, conflicts within township and the church.The procedure that the judges use during the trial caused problems to some people. One reason being that the system for trying cases was relatively new. There being evidence allowed, made conviction relatively easy. The procedures being spectral evidence, witch cake, touch test and others caused problems with some people. Spectral evidence refers to a witness testimony that the accused person 's spirit or spectral shape appeared to him/her witness in a dream at the time the accused person 's physical body was at another location. “The touch test worked on the idea that victims of sorcery would have a special reaction to physical contact with their evildoer. In cases where a possessed person fell into spells or fits, the suspected witch would be brought into the room and asked to a lay a hand on them. A non-reaction signaled innocence, but if the

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