The Salem Witch Trials
Nikole Gabrielle Castro
What were the Salem Witch Trials, how
long did the trials go on for and why did
it get so out of hand?
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A series of hearings before county court to prosecute
people accused of witchcraft. Trials took place in Salem
Village, Ipswich, Andover and Salem Town.
Over 150 people arrested and imprisoned.
26 went to trial before the court and were convicted.
14 women and 5 men were executed by hanging.
One man crushed to death.
5 people died in prison.
Lasted less than a year.
Quickly got out of hand because nobody wanted to get in
trouble so they blamed other people.
What were some beliefs about witchcraft
and witches people held in the past?
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Some people thought they held nocturnal meetings
called sabbat
At sabbat they did things like dancing naked, indulging in
orgies and carrying out a parody of the catholic mass.
Rumored to kill babies and eat them
Some believed that witches could fly, could affect the
fertility of animals, and could make humans ill or even kill
them by magic
What were some beliefs about witchcraft
and witches people held in the past?
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When a witch made a pact with the Devil he left a mark
(which was not necessarily visible) on their body and
was insensitive to pain.
One test to see if a person was a witch was to cut them
with a blade on the mark. If they didn’t flinch or draw
blood they were a witch.
Another test was to throw them into water, and if the
water ‘rejected’ them and they floated, they were a witch.
Some people drowned and died during this test.
What sort of evidence was used to arrest
accused witches?
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Spectral evidence-testimony of the
afflicted who claimed to see the
apparition or the shape of the person
who was allegedly afflicting them.
Confessions of the accused
themselves.
Testimony of another confessed
‘witch’.
Existence of so called ‘witch's teats’
or ‘Devil’s marks’ on the body of the
accused.
Discovery of ‘poppets’ (i.e. voodoo
dolls)
Pots of ointments in the possession
or in the home of the accused.
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What options did an accused witch have
in Salem?
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Could plead guilty, confess, and be
forgiven, then executed.
Could plead innocent, be tried,
found guilty, then executed.
All were hung.
One person refused to enter a
plea, so they tortured him to get
him to plea either guilty or
innocent.
Put heavy rocks on his chest, but
he refused and eventually
suffocated.
(1)
What are some possible explanations for
the Salem witchcraft trials?
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Tension and rebellion over the creation of a new church
in Salem Village.
Puritans did not view themselves as individuals, but
rather one organism under God.
Did not want anybody to stray from what they considered
normal.
Bibliography
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1.http://coryfamsoc.com/resources/articles/images/Sal_h
ang.jpg
TitleSlide:http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/sale
m/salemexamof.jpg
3.http://unsolvedmysteries.wikispaces.com/file/view/witc
hes.gif
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The Salem Witch Trials (Period 4)