The Puritans were a group of people who had moved from England to Massachusetts for religious freedom. They wanted to reform the Anglican church/Church of England. The Puritans had believed that if they made their church simple and “pure” by removing things such as altars and stained glass windows, then God would be pleased. It may sound like a nice, simple lifestyle, but the Puritans were anything but nice to those who disobeyed them or were considered different…….
IT ALL STARTED WITH A MAN NAMED SAMUEL PARRIS, HIS DAUGHTERS, AND A SLAVE NAMED TITUBA…. It all began on a cold winter day in January of 1692. As the amount of snow outside grew and grew, Betty and Abigail Parris began to twist and convulse, their bodies forming abnormal shapes. They babbled and hid under the family’s furniture. However, this was not the end of the girls’ strange behavior. For the next few days, Betty and Abigail’s symptoms only intensified, even though no one else in the Parris household was suffering the same fate. Something was definitely wrong. Samuel Parris, who was a reverend, considered this a sign from God. To increase his superstition, a week later, a tribe of Indians and their allies attacked York, Maine, leaving many dead. Reverend Parris also received a third “sign” in February, when a beggar named Sarah Good came to his door and asked for food for her 4 year old daughter Dorcas. When she left, she muttered something that Samuel Parris couldn’t help but think of as a curse.
Little did he know…..Samuel Parris and his daughters were the cause of a very terrible time in the history of Salem…..
BEWITCHED! A local physician named William Griggs examined the two girls and deduced that they were BEWITCHED. There was a good explanation for this. About 50 years before, settlers and farm animals were suffering from terrifying fits that were unexplainable. The settlers were complaining of seeing dark apparitions and being pinched or poked, even if there was no one or nothing around them doing these things. There seemed to be only one cause of this mishap: an Invisible World, one unknown to living beings. The settlers seemed to think that this was more likely than the symptoms being part of a new disease that they hadn’t known about. They thought that it was possible for the members of the “Invisible World” to inflict those of the Natural World, especially through mortals joining the Devil and carrying out his work. The settlers began to think that their trouble were the cause of…… WITCHES.
William Griggs, an elderly town physician, examining Betty and Abigail Parris. The result of the examinations was that the girls were being inflicted by other-worldly beings.
TO MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT… The Parris’s slave, Tituba, who was an Arawak Indian, was accused of being a witch and inflicting the young girls. Her husband, John Indian, was also accused of being a witch and helping Tituba inflict Betty and Abigail. After this, the fits of the two girls grew worse. People were getting worried. They asked them over and over about who was inflicting them. Finally, they gave them the most logical answer: TITUBA.
Who Else Was Accused in the Salem Witch Trials? Sarah Good-Betty and Abigail accused her once they remembered the time that she had come to their door. They knew that no one in Salem approved of a rude, ungrateful beggar. Her daughter, Dorcas, was also accused of being a witch. Sarah Osborn-Sarah was elderly and bedridden. She had a second husband who was thought to beat her, and she had not been to church in over a year. She wasn’t well-liked by anyone, so once she was accused, no one was surprised. ANN PUTNAM JR., A FRIEND OF BOTH BETTY AND ABIGAIL, WAS NOW ACCUSING SARAH GOOD OF PINCHING HER AND TRYING TO MAKE HER SIGN THE DEVIL’S BOOK. NEXT, ELIZABETH HUBBARD ACCUSSED BOTH WOMEN OF CHASING AND ATTACKING HER. ALMOST COINCIDENTALLY, SHE WAS THE NIECE OF DR. GRIGGS, WHO HAD ACCUSED WITCHES TO BE THE CAUSE OF BETTY & ABIGAIL’S FITS.
Other People Who Were Accused of Being….…..WITCHES [ By this time, Tituba had “confessed” to being a witch. She even said that Sarah Good and Sarah Osborn were witches working together with her! Oddly, because of this confession, Tituba was not hanged like the people who refused to confess to being involved in witchcraft.] DORCAS GOOD-A four year old was actually interrogated and thought to be a witch! The daughter of Sarah Good was arrested and thrown into witch jail. And the list goes on….. Rebecca Nurse Martha Corey Sarah Cloyce (sister of Rebecca Nurse) Giles Corey Elizabeth Proctor George Burroughs Roger Toothaker Bridget Bishop (The first to be tried and convicted of witchcraft) And many, many more…..
A Few Torture Systems of the Salem Witch Trials
The End of the Salem Witch Trials Eventually, in October of 1692, the Salem Witch Trials came to an end. Too many important figures, such as government officials and ministers were being accused. It got out of hand once the founding fathers of the colony were accused, and when people began to realize that the witch trials were only based on spectral evidence, or unstable evidence. By the time the witch trials had ended, 19 people were dead from hanging, and 17 people were dead from awaiting their trials.