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Salem Witch Trials
Transcript of Salem Witch Trials
1.What were some beliefs about witchcraft and witches people held in the past?
Witchcraft was harming people with the devils help. Witchcraft was usually blamed on women, though there were some men. Belief in witchcraft was ancient and was found in the Bible. They strongly believed the devil was controlling these people.
2.What were the Salem witch trials?
The Salem witch trials began in 1692. A group of young girls in Salem Village, Massachusetts, were claiming to be possessed by the devil. They accused several local women of witchcraft. A special court was made in Salem to hear the cases. The first convicted witch, Bridget Bishop, was hanged in June. Eighteen others followed her to Salem’s Gallows Hill. 150 more men, women and children were accused over the next several months. By September 1692, the madness had begun to get out of control and people started to turn against the trials. The court later anulled the cases but bitterness lingered in the community, and the pain of the Salem witch trials would last for centuries.
7.What sort of evidence was used to arrest accused witches?
Evidence that was used to arrest the accused witches was strange fits involving screaming and other strange sounds, contortion and complaints of being pinched and pricked with pins, devil’s markings on the accused, dolls made to represent a person used for casting spells on that person, and books.
8.Do "witch hunts" still happen?
Witch hunts do still happen, they are not as big of a deal as they were during the salem witch trials. Nowadays people do not take it as seriously as they did because there is other things happening in the world that are more important than worrying about witches and witchcraft. But "witch hunts" in a more broad sense, do happen.
5. How quickly did things get out of hand in Salem?
It didn't take very long for things to get out of hand. Very soon prisons were filled with more than 150 men and women.
6. How long did the Salem witchcraft trials go on for?
3. What are some possible explanations for the Salem Witch Trials?
It was a troubling time, which made it easier to say that Satan was present in these peoples lives. Old rivalries and arguments about property and other things led to people accusing each other. People were accusing other people for revenge and vengeance.
4.What options did an accused witch have in Salem?
An accused witch could plead guilty and be forgiven and try to be cleasned but if they didn't commit themselves back to God then they were hanged. If they plead innocent, they would go through a trial, and the trials ended in them being hanged the majority of the time.
It began in January of 1692, On October 29th, the court that had been set up to hear the cases was dismissed. The 52 people still in jail were tried in a new court, the Superior Court of Judicature. Most of the prisoners were found not guilty or released due to a lack of real evidence. Those who were found guilty were pardoned.The governor released the last few prisoners the following May. It lasted for about a year and five months.
Can you think of anything else that has happened in this country that would also be considered a "witch hunt"?
McCarthyism would be considered another "witch hunt" in history. This was when Senator Mcarthy was looking to get rid of communism in America. A lot of people were wrongfully accused. These people were accused of beinng a communist without any real evidence.
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