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- Salem Witch Trials
- In 1692, during the Salem Witch Trials, the malicious,
superstitious and ignorant Puritans in Salem, Massachusetts hanged 19 INNOCENT people as
"WITCHES" and imprisoned 150 more on "WITCHCRAFT" charges.
- In 1692, the community of Salem, Massachusetts was made up of PURITANS, who
were known as devoulty religious, yet ignorant sexists and believed women should be
subservient and bow down to men. These people had brought the belief in WITCHCRAFT
from England, which was a crime punishable by death. After the Reverend Parris
arrived in Salem, his daughter, Elizabeth Parris, her cousin and a friend gathered around
the kitchen table and listened to the family slave, Tituba, tell supernatiural tales. The
girls became fascinated with the occult, but their games got out of hand. The girls began
to act strangely and screaming as if they were "POSSESSED" BY
THE DEVIL. Suspicions that witchcraft led to their strange
behavior, three women, including Tituba, were arrested for practicing witchcraft. More
arrests ensued and mass trials were held. 19 innocent men and women were convicted
and hanged as "witches." 150 other innocent people were
imprisoned for witchcraft.
- Rampant accusations of witchcraft were spreading throughtout Salem. Women whose
behavior was considered NOT NORMAL were considered WITCHES. One man who would not
plead innocent or guilty was tortured and pressed to death with large stones. One woman
who had premarital sex was accused of witchcraft. Two independent women who did not agree
with the Puritanical social behavior were arrested for "practicing witchcraft."
Some defendants were convicted of being witches because they could not recite the Lord's
- The ritualistic and ignorant Puritans seeked scapegoats to blame for
their feelings of wanting to become more liberal and commercial, which was against their
strict religion. Some people believed that Reverend Parris led the witch hunt with
the local farmers, to get revenge on the important merchants of the town for threatening
their meager lifestyles.
- This WITCHCRAFT insanity lasted about a year. The Governor of Massachusetts, William
Phips, and the Reverend Increase Mather from HARVARD UNIVERSITY (Harvard
University was named for the PURITAN MINISTER John Harvard [1607-38]) questioned
the reliability of the evidence used in the WITCH TRIALS and dissolved the tribunal which
was established to preside over witchcraft trials.
- EVERYONE AGREED THAT VICTIMS WHO WERE HUNG WERE FALSELY ACCUSED. In
1693, the people still in jail were freed and in 1711 the colony's legislature made
payments to the families of the victims imprisoned or hung for being "witches." The
superstitious, ignorant, ritualistic religious Puritans caused the hanging and
imprisonment of innocent people, just because these people did NOT FIT into their social
and religious agendas!
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