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Salem Witch Trials

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Superstition and witchcraft resulted in many being hanged or

in prison. In the seventeenth century, a belief in witches and witchcraft was almost universal. In Salem Massachusetts where the witch trials take place many people who are suspicious is accused of witchcraft and hanged. Arthur Miller wrote a play called The Crucible. It is based on the Salem witch trials. The Salem witch trials change many peoples lives and even led to death for some. The power of superstition and hearsay can distort from the truth.

Confessing these sins would bring freedom upon the accused, because God forgave all sinners. All though they would be banished from the town forever, they would get to live. Unfortunately many did not want to trade respect for life, and they did not “confess” these sins. The methods in which they forced these confessions out of people were very brutal and deadly. This included stoning, piercing, stabbing, hitting, crushing, and ripping off of the flesh.

Four ministers of Salem joined Matther, and they spent a whole day in the house of the afflicted in fasting and prayer. The result of which was the delivery of one of the family from the power of the witch. A niece and daughter of the parish minister at Danvers were first afflicted. Their actions frightened other young people, who soon showed the same symptoms, such as loss of appetite and sickness. A belief quickly spread over Salem and throughout the state that evil spirits are being seen in Salem. Terror took possession of the minds of nearly all the people, and the dread made the affliction spread widely. "The afflicted, under the influence of the witchery, "admitted to see the forms of their tormentors with their inner vision" (Miller

1082). and would immediately accuse some individual seen with the devil. At times the afflicted and the accused became so numerous thatno one was safe from suspicion and its consequences. Even those who were active in the prosecutions became objects of suspicion.

The lethality of these devices was very high. Many included sharp metal, intended to puncture the skin of the victim. Others used shear weight to crush the victim’s body, leaving the mangled and dead. It didn’t stop there. Special tortures were introduced especially for women. Such methods included ripping off the breasts, severe wounds to the uterus, and severe wounds to the oral cavity. To the Puritans, they were doing no wrong torturing and killing these people. They believed that it was God’s will to kill these people, as they ridded the world of the people of the Devil. Anyone accused was immediately considered guilty, never innocent. You could only confess to save your life. This is what differed the Salem



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