The Salem Witch Craft Trials
The Salem witch craft trials that took place in 1692. Twenty-four men and women died as a result of accustions of witch craft and devil worshipping. Learn about the history of Salem.
The Salem Witch Trials were conducted in 1692 in Salem Village, which is now know as the town of Danvers, Massachusetts. These trials led to the deaths of 24 people, 19 of which were hanged, the others died in prison.
This hysteria originally began in January when two young girls, Elizabeth Parris, age nine and Abigail Williams, age eleven began to show strange behaviors. This behavior included screaming for no apparent reason, seizures, states of confusion, and the supposed use of magical spells. Not long after, these behaviors became noticeable in other girls in town. Due to the fact that no one was able to determine cause for their behavior it was concluded that they were devil worshipers under the influence of Satan. Services were held in order to force out the
evil that plagues these young girls.
As a result of the towns people pressuring these girls to identify those who were witches, three names were given. Warrants were issued for the arrests of Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba, an Indian slave. Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne swore that they were innocent and had no involvement in devil worshiping or witchcraft. On the other hand, Tituba confessed to the devil appearing before her and the practice of witchcraft.
After these events several others were accused of being witches because of unusual behaviors. Over the next several weeks several men and women were examined for the possibility of practicing witchcraft. Some of the men and women did have criminal backgrounds, while others were
faithful chruchgoers. These examinations led to some confessions and the accusations of others.
Sarah Osborne died in prison on May 10, while awaiting trial. On May 27 a special court was made up of seven judges to try all of the witch cases. The first to be pronounced guilty and condemned to death was Bridget Bishop on June 2, she was hanged in the first execution on June
10. Between July 19 and September 22, nineteen men and women were executed.