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Salem is a place notorious for mourning historical events, where the so-called witches were executed and imprisoned to death in the land of Death.
Salem is a city in Essex County in Massachusetts, United States, this place began to be famous in the 17th century with legends and mysterious stories about witches. In 1692, a bloody and mournful year for Salem, a time when people were still ignorant and believed in demons, gods, and ruthless carnage.
The funeral event that day still haunts the American people and attracts researchers to learn about this mysterious land. Here are some facts that humans have discovered about Salem.
Witches are not just women and they are not condemned to burn alive
Normally, we see women who are said to be witches and executed by being tied to stakes and burned. However, of the more than 200 people convicted in Salem in 1692, both men and women.
The trial took place and 19 people including women and men were charged and executed hanged in front of a crowd, one was stoned to death after trying to ask for forgiveness, among The offender who had two newborn babies also died in prison.
The trials are not just in Salem
Salem is famous for the place where witches are executed, but historically the trials took place in some towns in the US such as Ipswich and Andover, Salem, and Salem.
In 1692, the Oyer-and-Terminer court held a notorious trial to investigate internal dispute phenomena in the Salem area. Illness, crop failure, and life conflicts have led people to believe that the land they inhabited has been cursed and caused by sorcerers, so a hunt and slaughter of those designated witches has been placing extremely fierce and cruel.
Women are the main subjects of condemnation
Among women convicted of witchcraft, 78% of women are accused. According to Puritan men and women were equal before God but not the Devil.
Women who are thought to be weak and easily persuaded by the Devil to follow the wrong path, single women, or get married without children are considered to be the most likely to bewitch, minions of demons.
The inmates were still charged until 2001
In 1992, a Salem teacher named Paula Keene discovered and realized that five victims at the 1692 execution were not legally pardoned. Descendants of these people still expect a decision of the law to return the purity to their ancestors.
In 2001, Paula Keene, with the help of human rights representatives, persuaded the Massachusetts House of Representatives to announce the ordinance to eliminate criminal records for five victims: Bridget Bishop, Anne Pudeator, Alice Parker, Susanna Martin, and Wilmott Redd. On Halloween, in 2001 they were declared innocent.
The Puritans were the mastermind of the Salem Test
In 1969, King Williams' war took refugees to Essex County in Massachusetts and especially to Salem, which led to chaos.
The Brits, especially the Puritan-dominated Christians here, believe that the devil has given man the evil power to cause a dispute. From the 1300s to the 1600s, education was affected by the Witch fever in Europe, where thousands of people accused of witchcraft were executed.
Since then, the Salem trials have been conducted and the massacre occurred in February 1692 to May 1693 with countless trials in the colonies of Massachusetts.
The first witch cases
In January 1962, nine-year-old Betty Parris and eleven-year-old Abigail Williams began to exhibit abnormal, crazy behaviors. They utter strange noises, scream, throw furniture, and behave strangely, twitching their body.
Twelve-year-old Ann Putnam also experienced similar symptoms. A doctor named William Greggs claimed that he could not see signs of common pathology and diagnosed that all three girls were possessed.
The allegation comes from racial prejudice
Tituba was the one convicted because she was a South American slave in the Caribbean, she was suspected of doing some divination to her master and they thought Tituba was the witch. In February 1692, after interrogations, Tituba admitted to enchanting girls and trying to destroy the Puritan Puritan in Salem. She gave her name, pointed out two more people, and was spared.
Differences in race, religion have created contradictions and strange behaviors of people have triggered the fight between racial discrimination broke out. The people of slavery and poverty have become subject to charges and have to pay with their lives.
Sentenced through the broth
The witch was discovered by people using experiments through baking. Mary Sibley proposed this method when she asked the suspect to practice baking a cake made from rye and urine of the possessed person (Abigail Williams and Betty Parris). Then bring the cake for dogs to eat.
According to British folklore, the witch will feel physical pain when she sees the dog eat the cake. Many people have been arrested and convicted in this crazy way.
Charged with suspicion of the trial court
Martha Corey is a member of the church and is often attending Salem witch trials. She doubted the unfair trial and forced torture of testimony against inmates of the court. Martha Corey has spoken out to protect innocent victims.
That inadvertently caused Martha to be accused of collusion and support for the devil, she was convicted as a witch and hanged on September 22, 1692, her husband Giles Corey was also charged and received a death sentence with his wife.
The case of Martha Corey was introduced to the public if anyone appears to suspect the authorities will receive a painful ending like the Corey couple.
A famous case in the trial is the case of John Proctor. John's wife, Elizabeth, was accused of being a witch and he sought ways to prove his wife's innocence.
This led to John being accused of witchcraft and being hanged on August 19, 1962, Elizabeth was sentenced to prison because she was pregnant should be spared.
A superstitious society has forced innocent people to die unjustly, causing many families to suffer, to split in blood and tears.
The turning point created the end of witch trials in Salem
George Burroughs, a rich and powerful man was convicted as a witch and executed at the gallows on August 19, 1692. He is famous for the fact that he reads the Lord's Prayer during his execution, something people think a witch cannot do.
Since then, people have begun to doubt the veracity of the court when confirming the witch, the uprising against the Salem trial began to be rekindled.
End the trial and admit mistakes
The Salem Trial ended in early 1693 and left serious consequences for many innocent people who died in injustice. Mourning covered Massachusetts. The judges confessed their mistake in the trials. In 1702, the court declared the Salem trial unlawful and the defendants were financially honorable.
After more than 260 years in 1957, the Massachusetts government made an official apology for the Salem tragedy, signaling the end of Puritanism in Massachusetts.
The Salem in the 17th century became a dark history of American history, an expensive lesson about the superstition of the government that led people to fall into misery and loss.
Salem is known as the city of witch. There were a lot of witch trials that occurred between 1692 and 1693 in here. More than 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft and 20 of them were executed. After that, the story of the trials has become tantamount with paranoia and injustice. It continues to beguile the popular imagination more than 300 years later.
1. Context and origin of the Salem Witch Trial
Belief in the supernatural, especially in the devil’s practice of giving certain humans (witches) the power to harm others in return for their loyalty–had emerged in Europe as early as the 14th century. This was widespread in colonial New England. Besides, the harsh realities of life in the rural Puritan community of Salem Village at the time included the after-effects of a British war with France in the American colonies in 1689.
2. Salem witch trials
The Salem Witch Trials were a series of witchcraft cases brought before local magistrates in a settlement called Salem which was a part of the Massachusetts Bay colony in the 17th century.
- Setting the scene
The Salem Witch Trials began for the first time in February of 1692 when the afflicted girls accused the first three victims, Tituba, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborne.
- Salem struggling
From the 1300s to the end of the 1600s, a "witchcraft craze" rippled through Europe. Most people executed were women. Although the Salem trials came on just as the European craze was winding down, local circumstances explain their onset.
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- Restoring good names
Artists and scientists alike continued to be fascinated by the Salem witch trials in the 20th century. Moreover, numerous hypotheses have been devised to explain the strange behavior that occurred in Salem in 1692.
The General Court ordered a day of fasting and soul-searching for the tragedy of Salem on January 14, 1697. While, in 1702, the court declared the trials unlawful. Until 1711, the colony passed a bill restoring the rights and good names of those accused and granted £600 restitution to their heirs. However, more than 250 years later, in 1957, Massachusetts formally apologized for the events of 1692.
- Salem witch trials executions
English law at the time dictated that anyone who refused to enter a plea could be tortured in an attempt to force a plea out of them. This legal tactic was known as “peine forte et dure” which means “strong and harsh punishment.”
The torture consisted of laying the prisoner on the ground, naked, with a board placed on top of him. Heavy stones were loaded onto the board and the weight was gradually increased until the prison either entered a plea or died.
- Trials conclusion & legacy
As the trials and executions continued, colonists began to doubt that so many people could be guilty of this crime. They feared many innocent people were being executed. Local clergymen began speaking out against the witch hunt and tried to persuade officials to stop the trials.
Around the end of September, the use of spectral evidence was finally declared inadmissible, thus marking the beginning of the end of the Salem Witch Trials.
Although spectral evidence, evidence-based on dreams and visions, wasn’t the only evidence used in court during the Salem Witch Trials, it was the most common evidence and the easiest evidence for accusers to fake.
Other evidence used in the trials included confessions of the accused, possession of certain items such as poppets, ointments or books on the occult, as well as the presence of an alleged “witch’s teat”.
- Salem witch trial victims
A total of 19 accused witches were hanged at Proctor’s Ledge, near Gallows Hill, during the witch trials. The others were either found guilty but pardoned, found not guilty, were never indicted or simply evaded arrest or escaped from jail.
The common myth often occurred in the trials is that the Salem Witch Trials victims were burned at the stake. There is the fact that no accused witches were burned at the stake in Salem, Massachusetts. Salem was ruled by English law at the time, which only allowed death by burning to be used against men who committed high treason and only after they had been hanged, quartered and drawn.
- Life after the Salem witch trials
Daily chores, business matters, and other activities were neglected during the chaos of the witch trials, causing many problems in the colony for years to come.
As the years went by, the colonists felt ashamed and remorseful for what had happened during the Salem Witch Trials. Since the witch trials ended, the colony also began to suffer many misfortunes such as droughts, crop failures, smallpox outbreaks, and Native-American attacks and many began to wonder if God was punishing them for their mistake.