Article Summary of "Salem's Dark Hour: Did the Devil Make Them Do It?

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Watson, B. “Salem’s Dark Hour: Did the Devil make them do It?”, Smithsonian , vol. 23, issue #1, 14 pages, Apr92 Thesis: The article describes the events of the Salem Witch Trials. Summary: The author allows us to investigate the witch-hunt at Salem and to form our own hypothesis of the events by presenting evidence of the trials and theories of historians. The trials began as a result of a seemingly bewitched child named Betty Parris. The 9-year old and her friends, curious of their futures, began consulting the spirits for advice on who they should marry. Soon after their experience, the girls began convulsing and angling their bodies in ways that physicians not explain. Historians are unsure why the girls did this, whether they were spectacular actors or bewitched or possessed, there is no way to know for sure. It is still a mystery how this could, or even did, affect them in such a way, but nonetheless the townspeople believed it was a result of witchcraft. The girls refused to point fingers, however rumors spread and accusations were made. Once a person was accused, their choices were to confess or be killed. During the trials, the girls sat in the audience and reacted to the actions of the accused. This was added to the so-called evidence against the accused, and often was the settling argument in their demise. A total of one hundred seventy-five people were accused. Out of the one hundred seventy-five, nineteen were hanged, one of which was a man. The Salem Witch Trials are, to this day, a famous tale of the way communities can fail as a result of superstitions. Three hundred years later, no one really can say what in heaven (or hell) possessed the 'witches' of Salem--or their accusers In witchcraft's colorful lore, one episode stands out in black and white. Black:

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