The Salem Witch Trials!
In Salem Village, Massachusetts, February 1692 Betty Parris, aged nine, and Abigail Williams, aged eleven, the daughter and niece of Reverend Samuel Parris, became ill. Their health failed to improve and they went into constant fits, So a doctor William Griggs was called in. His diagnosis? Bewitchment. Soon other young women began to exhibit similar behavior, and a wave of hysteria spread throughout, Colonial, Massachusetts. So, a special court assembled in Salem to hear the cases and find people guilty of witchcraft. Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and Tituba were the first people to be accused and arrested of bewitching Betty Parris and Abigail Williams. Every week, more and more were accused and arrested. A belief and fear of the supernatural, hence the idea that some humans witches were given the power to harm others through it. A recent smallpox epidemic and the threat of attack by Native American tribes all fueled the hysteria in the Salem Community. The first convicted witch, Bridget Bishop, was described as wearing black clothing and odd costumes, which was against the strict puritan code of Salem. She was hanged on June 10th, 1692 at Gallows Hill. 18 more people were executed by hanging after being convicted of being a witch. Several others died in prison and one man was even crushed to death by heavy stones as a form of torture. Contrary to popular belief none of the condemned were burned at the stake. 150 more people would be accused of Witchcraft But by September 1692. Hysteria had died down and people started to turn against the trials with the last one ending in early 1693.