Current Reading Mood: Urban Fantasy
Quote of the day: “I’d have been dead a long time ago if not for my friends, one of whom had just jumped off the cliff after me.
I’d have been a lot more appreciative if he hadn’t pushed me first." Cassandra Palmer ― Hunt the Moon by Karen Chance

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Annual Halloween Event: History on Salem and Witch Trials

First check out:
The Witchcraft Trials in Salem: A Commentary


The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings before local magistrates followed by county court trials to prosecute people accused of witchcraft in the counties of EssexSuffolk, and Middlesex in colonial Massachusetts, between February 1692 and May 1693. Despite being generally known as the Salem witch trials, the preliminary hearings in 1692 were conducted in a variety of towns across the province: Salem VillageIpswichAndover and Salem Town. The best-known trials were conducted by the Court of Oyer and Terminer in 1692 in Salem Town. Over 150 people were arrested and imprisoned, with even more accused but not formally pursued by the authorities. At least five more of the accused died in prison. All twenty-six who went to trial before this court were convicted. The four sessions of the Superior Court of Judicature in 1693, held in Salem Village, but also in IpswichBoston andCharlestown, produced only three convictions in the thirty-one witchcraft trials it conducted. The two courts convicted twenty-nine people of the capital felony of witchcraft. Nineteen of the accused, fourteen women and five men, were hanged. One man, Giles Corey, refused to enter a plea and was crushed to death under heavy stones in an attempt to force him to do so.
The episode is one the most famous cases of mass hysteria, and has been used in political rhetoric and popular literature as a vivid cautionary tale about the dangers of isolationism, religious extremism, false accusations, lapses in due process, and governmental intrusion on individual liberties.[1]

Witch Hanging was popular in the past in Salem, people were accused and hung in Salem, it was awful and has made history. 

Here's a list of The Victims of the Salem Witch Trails of 1692.

Hanged on June 10

Bridget Bishop, Salem

Hanged on July 19

Sarah Good, Salem Village
Rebecca Nurse, Salem Village
Susannah Martin, Amesbury
Elizabeth How, Ipswich
Sarah Wilds, Topsfield

Hanged on August 19

George Burroughs, Wells, Maine
John Proctor, Salem Village
John Willard, Salem Village
George Jacobs, Sr., Salem Town
Martha Carrier, Andover

September 19

Giles Corey, Salem Farms, pressed to death

Hanged on September 22

Martha Corey, Salem Farms
Mary Eastey, Topsfield
Alice Parker, Salem Town
Ann Pudeater, Salem Town
Margaret Scott, Rowley
Wilmott Reed, Marblehead
Samuel Wardwell, Andover
Mary Parker, Andover

Other accused witches that were not hanged, but died in prison:

Sarah Osborne, Salem Village
Roger Toothaker, Billerica
Lyndia Dustin, Reading
Ann Foster, Andover

Salem Witch

From :

Twenty-four innocent victims lost their lives in the Salem witchcraft hysteria. How did the community of Salem let this tragedy happen? Was it simply fear and superstition, or were there other factors at work?

The events of 1692 took place during a difficult and confusing period for Salem Village. As part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Salem was under British rule. When the hysteria began, the colony was waiting for a new governor and had no charter to enforce laws. By the time the new governor, William Phips, arrived in Massachusetts, the jails were already filled with alleged witches. To make matters worse, New England towns were under attack by Native Americans and French Canadians.

Salem Village faced daily challenges closer to home as well. Most families had to support themselves, making their own clothes, planting vegetables, raising meat. Farming was often a painstaking task in the harsh climate and rough, rocky terrain—and a drought or flood could ruin a year’s harvest. An epidemic of smallpox could kill a family. In a world where people saw the Devil lurking behind every misfortune, it is little wonder they believed evil spirits were at work.

But there may have been stronger factors behind the witch hunts—the Puritan lifestyle, a strong belief in the Devil and witchcraft, the divisions within Salem Village, and the expectations of children. Click each topic below to learn more:

Do you have any Witch Stories, or Stories of Salem to tell?

Click HERE for Rosey's post on Salem. 


Steph said...

I used to know a man who had some property in that area and was trying to develop it but was stopped for some reason - I want to say archeology - it seems they found evidence that the land at the time of the Salem witch hysteria (not trial - a trial involves facts and proof) and murders, was contaminated with ergot - a hallucinogenic mold used back then even, properly prepared to help women in childbirth. Eaten as a grain contaminant in bread or whatever, it caused hallucination.

Food for thought.Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust
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twitter: @fangswandsfairy

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