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Salem Witch Trials
Transcript of Salem Witch Trials
It was easy to believe in 1692 in Salem, with an Indian war raging less than seventy miles away (and many refugees from the war in the area) that the devil was close at hand. Sudden and violent death occupied minds. Believing the sickness to be the work of the Devil, Betty Parris and Abigail Williams named their afflictors and the witchhunt began. The consistency of the two girls' accusations suggests strongly that the girls worked out their stories together.
Soon Ann Putnam and Mercy Lewis were also reporting seeing "witches flying through the winter mist." The prominent Putnam family supported the girls' accusations, putting considerable impetus behind the prosecutions. Spectral Evidence: testimony that the accused witch's spirit (i.e. spectre) appeared to the witness in a dream or vision (for example, a black cat or wolf). The dream or vision was admitted as evidence of an individual's guilt.
Cotton Mather wrote a letter imploring the court not to allow spectral evidence—testimony about dreams and visions. The court largely ignored this request. Deaths 19 accused witches were hanged on Gallows Hill during Summer 1692.
Approx. 13 individuals died in prison.
Giles Corey was crushed to death because he would not admit to witchcraft. Question: Could the Salem Witch Trials ever happen again?
Write for the entire 5 minutes.