The people of Salem often ate rye bread,and in wet, swampy conditions (which Salem had at the time), rye can foster a fungus called ergot. Many citizens believed that they way witches will get you is by baking a cake. My mom never told me how her best friend died. The magistrates then had not only a confession but also what they accepted as evidence of the presence of more witches in the community, and hysteria mounted. Accessed May 6, 2021. https://salemwitchmuseum.com/locations/philip-and-mary-english-home-site-of/. Animals were the "familiar spirits" of witches. A complicated and long-lasting feud between the Putnam and Porter families of Salem may have been a motivating factor in some of the witchcraft accusations. At Factinate, were dedicated to getting things right. Tituba eventually confessed to using witchcraft. The witchcraft trials even targeted animals. Most importantly, Stoughton allowed spectral evidence during the trials, so that an accuser could claim that an accused witch had appeared to them in a vision or hurt them within a dream. In fact, there was fear in Europe that an entire group of evil witches were consciously attacking Europeans in order to destroy Christendom. Witches have been the origin of many myths and legends. Mid-February- After a month of fasting, prayer, and home remedies, Betty and Abigail have not improved. At the time of the Salem Witch Trials, Abigail was living with her uncle, Reverend Samuel Parris, his daughter Betty Parris and Parris' slaves Tituba and John Indian. The stars of the Salem story were the Puritan community of the Massachusetts Bay colony, a religious groupthat came over to America to escape religious persecution back in England. They soon spread to individuals regardless of their gender, class, or power in the community. For more than 300 years, the complex drama of the 1692 Salem witch trials and its themes of injustice and the frailties of human nature have captivated and fascinated the public imagination. Gallows Hill was discovered on a rocky outcropping now located, very unfittingly, near a Walgreens in Salem. The Salem witch trials are considered one of Americas most noteworthy cases of mass hysteria. Ann Putnam testified that Good tried to choke and bite her, a claim that Mary Walcott corroborated. Tituba ultimately survived the saga and was not hanged. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. Make sure to leave us a comment after you watch this video to tell us what you learned and what video youd like to see next! They found it by following clues in an accused witchs writings and through guesses on where prisoners would be transported. She was an enslaved woman believed to have been from Central America, captured as a child from Barbados, and brought to Massachusetts in 1680 by Reverend Parris. After some young girls of the village (two of them relatives of Parris) started demonstrating strange behaviours and fits, they were urged to identify the person who had bewitched them. She crafted a tale detailing how the devil had come to her and asked her to do his bidding. Take, Salvador Dali was a man of contradictions. Probably stimulated by voodoo tales told to them by Tituba, Parriss daughter Betty (age 9), his niece Abigail Williams (age 11), and their friend Ann Putnam, Jr. (about age 12), began indulging in fortune-telling. To identify witches, authorities used the "touching test", in which victims of witchcraft would become calm upon touching the culprit. The number of trials and executions varied according to time and place, but it is generally believed that some 110,000 persons in total were tried for witchcraft and between 40,000 to 60,000 were executed. There was a social divide between the leading families as well as a split between factions that were for and against the villages new pastor, Samuel Parris. By the end of the Salem witch trials, 19 people had been hanged and 5 others had died in custody. Dorothy Good, the 4-year-old daughter of the previously accused Sarah Good, was the youngest to be accused of witchcraft. A complicated and long-lasting feud between the Putnam and Porter families of Salem may have been a motivating factor in some of the witchcraft accusations. Unlike the others who were hanged, this unfortunate fellow was crushed to death by stones. Facts Did You Know? His wife, Elizabeth, had been accused of witchcraft and John tried to step in to defend her. He brought to Salem Village his wife, their three children, a niece, and two slaves who were originally from BarbadosJohn Indian, a man, and Tituba, a woman. The Putnams, a prominent family hed borrowed money from, sued Burroughs for unpaid debts and later accused him of witchcraft. His vocal support for his wifewho was also accused of witchcraftand claims that the accusers were lying were among the possible reasons why suspicion fell on him as well. It was a time of hysteria, when courts believed in the devil, spectral evidence and teenage girls. Instead, in 1692, hanging was the preferred form of punishment. From petty paybacks to insane acts of karma, these bitter people somehow found the most ingenious ways. The village itself had a noticeable social divide that was exacerbated by a rivalry between its two leading familiesthe well-heeled Porters, who had strong connections with Salem Towns wealthy merchants, and the Putnams, who sought greater autonomy for the village and were the standard-bearers for the less-prosperous farm families. Were always looking for your input! Directed by Guy Ferland. Nineteen were executed by hanging. Tituba was not the only one who thought animals were capable of engaging in the devils work. It was believed that they employed demons to accomplish magical deeds, that they changed from human to animal form or from one human form to another, that animals acted as their familiar spirits, and that they rode through the air at night to secret meetings and orgies. Unlike the others who were hanged, this unfortunate fellow was crushed to death by stones. The crisis in Salem, Massachusetts took place partly because the community lived under an ominous cloud of suspicion. Today, witchcraftis recognized by the government as a protected and legitimate religion under the First Amendment. Sir William Phips. Famous Trials. When he stopped being paid altogether, he left Salem. His sixth great grandson was Walt Disney. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life. Accessed May 6, 2021. https://famous-trials.com/salem/2078-sal-acct. The trials came to an abrupt halt when the Governors wife was accused of witchcraft, causing him to immediately order an end to the trials. He was stripped naked and covered with heavy boards. Because most of the trials were occurring in Salem . From 1671 to 1687, he served on the Counsel of Assistants, a judicial and rule-making body for the colony. The Salem witch trials of the late 17thcentury were a formative episode in Americas early history, and have remained at the forefront of the national consciousness ever since. Several episodes of the original Bewitched TV series were actually filmed on location in Salem. Abigail Williams and Betty Parris, the two girls at the very center of the trials, made sure to use every trick in the book to accuse others in the town, leading to people not only being tested, but also pressed to death! Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? Some have suggested that the man who was truly responsible for initiating the witch trial debacle was Reverend Samuel Parris, the father and uncle of the afflicted girls. Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIIIs rejected queenbut few people know her even darker history. Because of the similarity in time period, location, and story, people often mix up the Puritans with the Pilgrims, the group of Dutch settlers who created what we now know as the holiday of Thanksgiving. The Evil Justice William Stoughton Was the Ultimate Hanging Judge at the Salem Witch Trials and Heres Why. HistoryCollection.com, January 29, 2018. https://historycollection.com/william-stoughton-ultimate-hanging-judge-salem-witch-trials/. Thomas Maule, a Quaker who found himself at odds with the Puritan community at times, was beaten and imprisoned for speaking out against the trials, despite the fact that he himself believed in witches. 1 Most of the accused were women but men were accusedand executedtoo. Tituba initially denied the claim that she was a witch, but notoriously later decided to confess that it was true and accused two other women as well in the process. The best revenge might be living well, but that doesn't mean we can always turn the other cheek. Credits: Danvers Lunatic Asylum: CHRONICLES- Danvers State Hospital | Danvers According to her death warrant, through her witchcraft, Bishop had caused bodily harm to five women, including Abigail Williams, Ann Putnam, Mercy Lewis, Mary Walcott, and Elizabeth Hubbard. However, no one ever embodied the concept of a witch as previously described. On August 21, 1692, aided by two Boston ministers, Philip and Mary fled for New York, forfeiting a 4,000 bond and leaving their daughter in the care of a friend. Because of the similarity in time period, location, and story, people often mix up the Puritans with the Pilgrims, the group of Dutch settlers who created what we now know as the holiday of Thanksgiving. Miller did not approve of this, and this was one of the things he tried to criticize allegorically through his depiction of the Salem events. The haphazard fashion in which the Salem witch trials were conducted contributed to changes in U.S. court procedures, including rights to legal representation and cross-examination of accusers as well as the presumption that one is innocent until proven guilty. Factinate is a fact website that is dedicated to finding and sharing fun facts about science, history, animals, films, people, and much more. The Salem Witch Trials, the events of 1692 in Salem Village which resulted in 185 accused of witchcraft, 156 formally charged, 47 confessions, and 19 executed by hanging, remain one of the most studied phenomena in colonial American history. More than 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraftthe devil's magic and 20 were executed.. Perhaps some training in the law would have constrained Stoughtons more extreme actions. In January of 1692, the daughter and niece of Reverend Samuel Parris of Salem Village became ill. William Griggs, the village doctor, was called in when they failed to improve. Since witches were often shackled in jail . Witches could change from human to animal form or from one human form to another. Nineteen were hanged, and one-elderly Giles Corey-pressed to death. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. The story goes that Corey and her husband, Giles, sat in on the trials early on, causing Martha to express scepticism about the legitimacy of the proceedings. 8. A crucible is a kind of container used for heating substances at very high temperatures, and the term is often used to describe high pressure situationssuch as the onethe witch trials creates for the accused. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. This series of prosecutions and hangings of those accused of practicing witchcraft provoked a major backlash, and the event still haunts us today. Now that Tituba had confirmed that satanic work was afootand that there were other witches aroundthere was no stopping until they were all found. His wife, Elizabeth, had been accused of witchcraft and John tried to step in to defend her. William Stoughton, who presided over the Salem witch trials, studied theology at Harvard College and Oxford, but never became a minister and chose to enter politics instead. Mysteriously, in 1692, the reverend's 9-year-old daughter, Elizabeth (aka Betty), and 11-year-old niece, Abigail, began having fits. The most famous witch trial in history happened in Salem, Massachusetts, during the winter and spring of 1692-1693. Another executed man was John Proctor, a wealthy farmer who spoke out against the witch trials, particularly after his wife Elizabeth had been arrested for witchcraft. The 1942 romantic comedy filmI Married a Witch, starring Veronica Lake and Frederic March, told the story of two witches from Salem placing a revenge curse on the descendants of their accuser. As the most commanding mistress in the French court, she bettered the lives of many and became a beloved figure. Thanks for your time! The panic and fear over witches hiding amongst the colony began when two young girls, Abigail Williams and Betty Parris, developed strange symptoms including having fits and screaming in pain at mysterious moments. The colony passed a bill in 1711 restoring the rights and good names of those accused and granted 600 restitution to their heirs. The largest account of witch trials as well as deaths by witch trials occurred in Salem, a village heavily populated with the Puritans. Please let us know if a fact weve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect its inaccurate) by reaching out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. On January 14, 1697five years after the trialsthe General Court ordered a day of fasting and prayers for the tragedy of Salem, stating, That so all God's people may offer up fervent Supplications unto him for ye preservation & prosperity of his Majtys.. Despite the Salem witch trials occurring centuries ago, researchers only just found the execution site for the trials in 2016. If a dog was fed a cake made with rye and the urine of an afflicted person, and it displayed the same symptoms as the victim, it indicated the presence of witchcraft. Tackling the same twisted subject as Stacy Schiff's much-lauded book The Witches: Salem, 1692, this Sibert Honor book for young readers features unique scratchboard illustrations, chilling primary source material, and powerful narrative to tell the true tale.In the little colonial town of Salem Village, Massachusetts, two girls began to twitch, mumble, and contort their bodies into strange shapes. Between 1692 and 1693, more than two hundred people were accused. In fact, there was fear in Europe that an entire group of evil witches were consciously attacking Europeans in order to destroy Christendom. Even during the trials, there were many who objected to the whole procedure, even within the religious Puritan community. Upon Governor William Phipss return from England, he realized the need for a new court for the witch trials. But not just adult women and men were impacted by the trials. They were also used for identifying witches in Salem, using the Witch Cake test. Besides their descendants, the accused witches of Salem leave another legacy: a rich and fascinating history for us to explore today. From Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to Hocus Pocus, Arthur Miller to American Horror Story, American pop culture is saturated in retellings of this horrifying episode in colonial history. Here are 10 things you need to know about the notorious witch trials. Her testimony added fuel to the fire, making the witch hunt spiral out of control. Life, woman, life is Gods most precious gift; no principle, however glorious, may justify the taking of it.Arthur Miller, in The Crucible. The Salem witch trials of the late 17th century were a formative episode in America's early history, and have remained at the forefront of the national consciousness ever since. Additionally, a man was pressed beneath heavy stones until he died. The Salem witch trials and executions came about as the result of a combination of church politics, family feuds, and hysterical children, all of which unfolded in a vacuum of political authority. Husbands hiding things from wives, mothers from children, and generation from generation. Spectral evidence was only deemed inadmissible when it was used to accuse Governor William Phipss wife, Mary. One was pressed to death by heavy stones. Much of the evidence brought agains the witches, at least at first, was called spectral evidence, where people testified to seeing an apparition of the accused trying to inflict harm on them. This series of prosecutions and hangings of those accused of practicing witchcraft provoked a major backlash, andthe event still haunts us today. Dont feel too embarrassed if you happen to be from Massachusetts, you guys were not the first to do something like this. The first witch trial occurred because the daughter (Betty Parris) and niece (Abigail Williams) of the local Salem Reverend had become violently ill. At the suggestion of a neighbour, a witch cake (made with the urine of the victims) was baked by Tituba to try to ferret out the supernatural perpetrator of the girls illness. One of the turning points in ending public support and enthusiasm for the trials was the conviction and execution of one of the towns former minsters, George Burroughs, who publicly recited the Lords Prayer at the gallows, which was believed to be impossible for witches to do. Witch hunts This series of prosecutions and hangings of those accused of practicing witchcraft provoked a major backlash, and the event still haunts us today. The effects of the Salem Village witch trials were devastating: 141 people imprisoned, 19 people executed, and two more died from other causes directly related to the investigations.1 The Salem witch trials would account for a quarter of all people executed for the crime of witchcraft in the history of New England,2 and would furthermore prove While Miller maintained that he kept everything historically accurate, some have noted that he made changes to the real record for the sake of the play. Although Massachusetts has given up its fight against witchcraft, there are still places in the world where witchcraft is legitimately feared by the public, sometimes even leading to real modern day witch hunts. Although Giles was a wealthy farmer and Martha was a prominent church member, both of them had pasts they werent exactly advertising to the public. "Examination of a witch" by Tompkins Harrison Matteson (1853) No, it doesnt sound that romantic or comic to me either. Even during the trials, there were many who objected to the whole procedure, even within the religious Puritan community. We've compiled over 4375 history facts in one place, just for you. Much of the evidence brought agains the witches, at least at first, was called spectral evidence, where people testified to seeing an apparition of the accused trying to inflict harm on them. Other proof was the touch test, where if a witch who cursed someone touched the cursed person in the midst of a fit, theit fit would stop. Ergot causes hallucinations, convulsive fits, and sometimes death, and LSD derives from the substance. This evidence was later banned bythe courts, leading to a sharp drop in accusations. An important minister in Boston named Increase Mather was one of these objectors, stating that It were better that ten suspected witches should escape than that one innocent person should be condemned.. It was believed that witches had animal helpers that could take almost any animal form and do their dirty work for them. This obviously meant that you must also be a witch. Far more women than men were among the accused, convicted and executed. The Salem witch trails reveal about gender and power in the 17 th century in the US is that the roles men expected of women followed a strict guideline. Another more disturbing theory proposed by researchers like behavioral psychologist Linnda Caporael suggests that Salem suffered from ergot poisoning. Part of the escalation of theSalem trials included investigators literally going door to door and asking homeowners to rat out any suspected witches in their midst.