1692, Salem Massachusetts. We’Ve All Heard The Stories.
2002 WordsApr 7, 20179 Pages
1692, Salem Massachusetts. We’ve all heard the stories. Learned about it in history classes: The Salem Witch Trials. Rather the allegation and trial of over 200 people in the town alone and countless others in the surrounding area. But, contrary to what we learned in History, the first accusation wasn’t in Salem. The first recorded witch was found in 1669, twenty-three years prior in a little town known as Amesbury. The suspect was a woman named Susannah Martin, who was 44 at the time (Demos 1978). Twelve years prior to the trials, there was a woman, Bridget Bishop, and aside from Ann Pudeator- whose trial year is unknown- was Salem’s first case in 1678. Twelve miles away, and four years later, another two cases appeared in Ipswich. Long…show more content…
One thing that the colonists looked for with this new world was the opportunity to seek freedom from the rules and persecution of the English Church. Upon their arrival to the New World, it became clear that not all of the people they encountered were under the Church’s wing. Puritans then decided that these people were being controlled by the devil, or believed in him in some way ("Religious Aspects" 2008). There were several theories that some believe could have lead to the Trial. One explained that the scare came from ministers who were in an effort to lead followers and keep them in the Church ("Religious Aspects" 2008). This is supported by evidence that shows that individuals who strayed from the Church were to blame for such events. They were “easy targets” to the claim witch, because they had dropped ties with the church. However, as time went on, some cases looked more like possession and less like targeting. This factor changed how some researchers described their findings. One case that supports the possession theory was that of young Betty Parris and her cousin, Abigail Williams. Betty’s father was a Reverend in their town and noted that the two were observed to be experiencing symptoms that went beyond natural causes ("Religion During the Dark Days"). In translation, it was more than just a moment of epileptic shock. People said that it resembles the Goodwin case- one that also showed traced of demonic possession where the children had no