Salem Witch Hysteria

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…
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 …show more content…
The numbers of people the trials had to do with was crazy. 185 people accused of witchcraft, 59 tried in court, 31 convicted, 19 executed, at least 5 died in prison, one was crushed to death in an attempt to extract a plea. “Although Salem episodes lasted less than a year, by the time it was over at least 155 witch suspects had been hauled to jail; 19 convicted witches had been hanged; and one man had been crushed to death for refusing to stand trial”.Consequences of these accused were often excommunicated. The convicted/executed were denied proper burial. those involved in trials professed guilt and shame at involvement. accusers asked forgiveness, and community and lasting resentment destroyed. After time passes, intermediate repercussions took place, such as Emotional, economic and political

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