Confessing to witchcraft was the only way a member of the accused wouldn’t be executed. At the end of the trials, one of the girls who accused people of being witches stated, “It was all false.” The damage done during the trials was over 150 people were arrested and imprisoned, twenty-nine were convicted of witchcraft, nineteen of the accused
Background: The Salem witchcraft trials of 1692 have been studied by many historians looking for the complex social, political, and psychological determinants behind the community wide hysteria that led to the death of 20 innocent Puritans. Ergot poisoning has been put forth by some as a previously unsuspected cause of the bizarre behaviors of the young adolescent girls who accused the townsfolk of witchcraft. During the early winter of 1692 two young girls became inexplicably ill and started having fits of convulsion, screaming, and hallucinations. Unable to find any medical reason for their condition the village doctor declared that there must be supernatural forces of witchcraft at work. This began an outbreak of hysteria that would result in the arrest of over one hundred-fifty people and execution of twenty women and men.
The Salem Witch Trials took place only in America, but the idea of witches has existed in many parts of the world. In Europe witches were believed to be anti-Christian, and to have sold his or her soul to the devil in order to obtain magical abilities, usually to harm others. However, witches in Africa and the West Indies involved concepts other than the devil. From the 1400’s to the 1700’s, the annihilation of witches and witchcraft in England, France, Germany, Italy, Scotland, and Spain was promoted by church officials. Between 1484 and 1782, around 300,000 women were accused of practicing witchcraft, and were put to death.
Between 1645 and 1647, England was in the midst of it's most serious witchcraft outbreak. Several hundred people were hanged with approximately 90 percent of them being women. In 1656, a widow residing in Boston was called to stand before the elected officials and representatives in Massachusettes County Court. Her name was Ann Hibbens and although she desperately plead innocent, even after having her case re-tried, she was once again convicted by the jury and by the words of Governor John Endicott, she was to “goe from the barr to the place whence she came, and from thence to the place of execution, and there to hang till she was dead.” Five weeks later, Ann Hibbens was executed as a witch. It was no shock to New Englanders that a woman be executed for witchcraft, they had already witnessed 'Hibbens Fate' with sixteen previous executions in the decade before, which included between eight and nine women and one man.
The Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692 The Salem Witchcraft Trials are so famous that people say it as if it’s one word: Salemwitchcraft. But do people really know what went on in Salem? During the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692 in a few terror-filled months, nearly 200 people were condemned as witches. Historically witches are not the funny mischievous Samanthas of the 1960s show Bewitched, nor are they the cartoon green warted witches on brooms that you see so often on Halloween decorations. Historically witchcraft has been thought of as violent horrible things.
For example, she outs the blame on Tituba, who confesses to performing witchcraft. She also accuses poor Elizabeth Proctor who is the wife of John Proctor. John gets hung later in the story while his wife has to deal with her pregnancy of their first child together. It was rumored that Abigail had had an affair with john while she served as a maid for the couple. Abigail was very good at manipulating people and uses that trait as an advantage in the story.
The Civil Rights Movements and The Salem witchcraft trials Since the witch trials times in Salem and before, fear and persecution have acted on people’s life. It doesn’t matter if the person was one of the involved or not, it affected indirectectly everyone around. Arthur Miller in the Crucible showed a perfect fear and persecution scenery using the Salem witchcraft trials as and example. Arthur Miller used the Crucible to represent the Mc Cartheism, when the communists were been “persecuted” and everyone was pointing fingers to the enemies. As in Salem, it started with a small portion of people trying to accuse people for personal reasons and ended with a big mass of ruined lives without any evidence.
Throughout the years, witchcraft has been the common fear of mankind. In England, the legal definition of a witch was “a person who hath a conference with the devil to consult with him or to do some act”. In early modern Europe, women were thought to be witches due to their biblical association with the devil, the superstitions and misunderstanding of the people of Europe, and the negative perceptions of those who deviated from the social norm. As a result, these beliefs and superstitions led to the death of thousands of alleged witches. (Witch Hunts) Witches were thought to be consults of the devil who gave up their bodies and led others away from the church for the devil in exchange for otherworldly power.
The belief in witches existed for centuries before the trials at Salem. Over time, a considerable body of folklore developed about how to identify witches. A contemporary writer explains the most popular methods. Perhaps the reason witch-hunting has gotten a bad name is that some practitioners used rather crude methods to separate the guilty from the innocent. The notorious judges of the Holy Roman Empire, for example, simply applied thumbscrews until the unfortunate suspects confessed.
The Devil’s in the Details Cellissa Hernandez Portfolio Assignment 2.2: Read Transcripts and Newspaper Article 17751276 Rumor Has It…. In the city of Salem, many have been found guilty of witch craft. They have not all admitted to it but are known to be witches. The accused have been hanged, there is one man who refused to speak and was therefore pressed to death. There is no tan accurate count of how many have been killed but it has been said that at least thirteen witches have been executed.