World Famous Witch Trails in Massachusetts

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Salem Witch Trials

Were the Salem witch trials really caused from Satanic callings and curses or was it health problems being exaggerated? Many scientist and historians today are starting to believe that the Salem Witch trials were not really witches at all just health issues or food poisoning. In May of 1692 until October 1692, girls in the Salem Massachusetts area started to claim that they had been possessed by the devil and accused older women as the ones who put the curse on them.Almost everyone in Salem became extremely hysteric and constant terror was already in their thoughts because of exposure of hypothermia and other diseases and the Indians. Bridget Bishop was the first woman accused of witchcraft she was lynched on June tenth, 1692. After Bridget's death, eighteen other cases of witchcraft broke out in the small town.The town only had around 2000 people this was a huge predicament in their community.The belief of the devil quickly spread,Witchcraft itself was not considered a formal religion it was more considered as a sin against God. During this period there is no evidence to prove there was magic being used no spell books, flying broomsticks, evil black cats or any of the stereotypical witch symbols.The procedure of finding out who the witches were was mostly lead by rumors.Salem was not the first town where witches were accused many places in Europe in the 1300s had been exposed to some form of witchcraft. The witchcraft in Europe ended around the 1600s.

Many people today still believe in witches but scientist and historians think differently after taking a closer look into diet, family lifestyle and health of the women in Salem. Many of the bodily reactions of the so called curses could have been from asthma, inflammation of the brain, Lyme disease from ticks (which are very common in the Massachusetts area), epileptic seizures,child abuse and the biggest one is ergot poisoning. Ergot poisoning is a fungal disease found in rye and other oats, The symptoms are extremely close to what the people used to say witches started feeling back in 1692. The symptoms include:vomiting uncontrollably,choking, muscle spasms,hallucinations,one of the most common symptoms was feeling like bugs are crawling around underneath your skin. Today a type of Ergot is commonly used in LSD a synthetic drug that produces hallucinations from the first 30 minutes after the initial ingestion upto 12 hours after taking it.

One the most famous accounts of witchcraft is Reverend Samuel Parris daughter and niece. Parris was Salemr's first ordained minister so this was a huge controversy for him and his family. Daughter Betty age 9 and niece Abigail Williams age 11 started having terrible fits throwing things, screeching,muscle spasms that resulted in contorted poses and murmured strange words and sounds.The doctor in salem told the reverend and his family this was definitely a work of something supernatural.Similar signs started showing in other young girls in the town like Ann Putnam she was in the same age range as Betty and Abigail.These girls started blaming older women for these strange episodes happening to them .

The first one to be blamed was Parris house slave from the caribbean islands Tituba,Sarah Good a homeless women who stood on the streets day in and day out and begged for money or even just a bite of food she also had a young daughter, and Sarah Osborne a very old and weak woman.The three women were brought before a local judge and were questioned for days straight with no breaks,Both of the Sarah's claimed they were completely innocent and they had never put a curse on anyone and they also said they were terrified of Satan.But Tituba claimed something strange and quite alarming she described and encounter with Satan or the devil and he had an array of animals a three headed dog,bright red cats and yellow birds. Tituba said the devil was a black man and he asked her to sign a book this book was signing over her soul to him and to do everything he wants. She later admitted that she did sign the book. She also said that there were multiple other women witches wanting to destroy the puritan way of life.But sadly even though the Sarahs pled innocent they were put in jail along with Tituba. The town broke into hysterics for a long period of time rumors continued of other women being witches and Sarah Goodr's 4 year old little girl got brought in for questioning against her mother .

Another strange event before Betty and Abigail was Phoebe Chandler, a 12 year old girl who lived with her mother. One day her mother asked her to go out and grab some drinks for the men that were over at their home, Phoebe told her mother she heard a voice coming from the bushes as she walking. Later that same day she heard that same exact voice in the same bushes telling her within days she would be poisoned, Phoebe started to recognize this voice as Martha Carrier a towns woman. After Martha told Phoebe she would be poisoned her arm swole up and she was in a lot of pain. Martha also cursed another person her neighbor a man, He had asked Martha if they could split up some land on the property lines. They argued multiple different times,days later he suffered several sores on his feet and it also swole up just like young Phoebe. After these two occurrences Martha was arrested and the pain and sores went away on both Phoebe and the man.

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World Famous Witch Trails In Massachusetts. (2019, May 23). Retrieved June 20, 2024 , from

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