What is a superstition? Well, it is irrational belief to explain the cause of things. The Puritans had no logical explanation for the reason why things happened. Their explanations were based on their fear and their wild imagination about why things happened.
The Salem Witch Trials was based on superstitions. People’s ignorance led to the belief in witches. They believed that people who had strange behaviors or rituals were involved in witchcraft. The strange behaviors included screaming, uncontrollable seizures, and trance-like states. Physicians were unable to determine any physical cause for this unnatural behavior. This caused physicians to believe that nine-year-old Elizabeth Parris and eleven-year-old Abigail Williams were under the influence of Satan.
The Salem Witch Trials might also have occurred as a result of people’s thirst for power or fear. They feared that people were associating with the devil. People were filled with wild imaginations when they heard that Betty Parris was flying when in fact, she was only pretending to be witched. The people were filled with hysteria when a rumor dispersed throughout Massachusetts that evil spirits were lurking there. The people under the influence of witchcraft would immediately reproach anyone seen with the devil, and everyone was no longer safe from suspicions and the consequences of being suspected.
Common superstitions about black cats have come from different Europeans immigrating to America. Scottish immigrants believed that when a black cat entered a room with someone waking, it was bad luck, and this indicates that a member of the family may soon be deceased. People believed that drinking a soup from a boiled black cat can cure the disease of tuberculosis although they also believed that killing a black cat would bring misfortune to them. They were thought to be vile creatures, having an allegiance to the devil. Common superstitions about black cats have come from different Europeans immigrating to America. Scottish immigrants believed that when a black cat entered a room with someone waking, it was bad luck, and this indicates that a member of the family may soon be deceased. People believed that drinking a soup from a boiled black cat can cure the disease of tuberculosis although they also believed that killing a black cat would bring misfortune to them. They were thought to be vile creatures, having an allegiance to the devil.
The black cats were thought to be vile creatures, having an allegiance to the devil. Witches were believed to be able to take on the form of a cat to conceal themselves when walking among humans. They were considered to be the familiars of witches. The church thought that witches held their meetings during the night, and it may be a cat ’ s nocturnal temperament that they are connected to witches.
People were convinced that herbs can cure anything. People would put an herb on any cut you would have to make it recover faster. They were used to reduce any kind of swellings when you bump into something. If an arm or leg was broken, herbs would be used to help make the broken parts of the arm or leg heal faster. Families began to make their own medicines with herbs. Honey would usually be put in the herbs to make them taste better since they were bitter.
Some herbs that were used in colonial times are sage, thyme, lavender, and angelica. Sage was used to make game meat and stew taste better. Thyme was used to flavor food and was also used as medication. Lavender was used to make the clothes smell fresh since there were many strong and unpleasant odors during the time. Angelica was used to delayed the time of birth during pregnancy. Sage Thyme Lavender Angelica
The number 13 is considered to be a lucky number. It is part of many national symbols as it honors the original 13 colonies. Burning bayberry was a custom in many homes to bring good fortune. People believed that if one candle was burned until it was gone, good health and wealth would be brought to them throughout the year.
In conclusion, there are many superstitions in colonial America. Many of the superstitions were formed out of fear because of their misunderstanding of how things happened. The Salem Witch Trials were based on superstitions since there were really no witches and so were the medicines that they used and black cats. They didn’t have the science and technology that we have today to have any logical explanation for why things happened.
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