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Witches > The Salem Witch Trials

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message 1: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) I was rather surprised to notice there was no topic on this. If we are talking witches then this is one of the most notorious cases for them. How many of you are interested in or know about the Salem witch trials? I live in Massachusetts so aside from the annual reading of The Crucible in schools I know more about it then just the book. So many people died all because a group of girls accused people of being witches. The ironic part was they were killed if they denied being one but were spared if they attempted to being one.

I myself went with my family to Salem a few years back and it was quite interesting and enjoyable. You can learn a lot about the history of the town aside from the amusements they feature. Even went on a ghost tour where the guide told us where to take pictures of reported sightings. We actually got sightings in the pictures we just normally took of us rather then ones of possible sightings. Anyways though, what are everyone elses thoughts, knowledge and experiences about the Salem witch trials?

message 2: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 188 comments I have read dozens of book fictional and non-fiction on The Salem Witch trials. I find it fascinating piece of history that makes me think a lot about people and hysteria and vindictiveness. There are many theories including Ergot poisoning and certainly there are questions about whether the girls were being manipulated by anyone or if they were just caught up in the attention they received. Another interesting thing was their use of spectral evidence which the English courts had banned for obvious reasons. I can honestly say, I never tire of this topic.

message 3: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 188 comments Parinita wrote: "hi.
I don't know much about these except that a lot of women were killed during this time. I would, however, love to know more about this.
why did they spare the ones who were trying to be witche..."

Its not because they were trying to be witches, but that if you "confessed" to being a witch you could repent and save your soul, whereas if you did not, then you couldn't be saved from the Devil's power and had turned your back on God. Remember these were deeply religious Puritans. Basically though, once you were accused you pretty much were assumed to be guilty.

message 4: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) Parinita wrote: "hi.
I don't know much about these except that a lot of women were killed during this time. I would, however, love to know more about this.
why did they spare the ones who were trying to be witche..."

Most of the people who were accused were well known in town and good people who didn't wish to tarnish their name and reputation. They were righteous, knew who they were and even if they knew they weren't witches they weren't going to lie just to justify the satisfaction of the accusations. It was quite bizarre.

I had a good experience there. I didn't get to do all that I wanted but I learned more about the first girl that was accused of being a witch. She worked at an inn and they said she still roams the place. It wasn't like Sturbridge village where people are in character all of the place, some where in certain places. I also got to see the cemetery where all of the people who died during the ordeal are at rest. It's fascinating yet eerie and creepy at the same time. It's definitely a place to go for a good time and experience and you can learn something at the same time.

message 5: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) One rather sad but interesting tale during the Salem Witch trials told of an old man named Giles Corey. Corey was accused of being a witch to which he strongly denied. The accusers made sure Corey suffered for his supposed lying by piling rocks on top of him. When they asked him if he was ready to confess and if he had anything to say he simply replied "more weight". Corey soon died of course because of all the weights of the rocks but clearly a man who stood up for what he believed in and unfortunately paid the price.

message 6: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) It is worth noting again if it wasn't clear in the beginning of my opening comment, that most who were accused of and killed for be witches weren't actually witches. They did not possess powers, they did not cast spells, did not believe nor if even knew what it was they were truly being accused and tried for. Most were all innocent victims who were condemned for accusations by lying teenage girls.

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