Essay on Salem Witch Trials Of 1692

Good Essays
The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 In colonial Massachusetts between February of 1692 and May of 1963 over one hundred and fifty people were arrested and imprisoned for the capital felony of witchcraft. Trials were held in Salem Village, Ipswich, Andover and Salem Town of Essex County of Massachusetts, but accusations of witchcraft occurred in surrounding counties as well. Nineteen of the accused, fourteen women and five men, were hanged at Gallows Hill near Salem Village. Hysteria had swept through Puritan Massachusetts and hundreds of people were accused of witchcraft. Why these accusations came about might account for a combination of an ongoing frontier war, economic conditions, congregational strife, teenage boredom, and personal…show more content…
Soon afterwards, mass hysteria ensued. There were many accusations from people across Essex County that they were suffering from witchcraft, despite the jailing of the three accused, claiming that they were being tortured by ghosts and other apparitions of witches and even accused their neighbors of the horrific acts. Historians believe that social and economic factors were a cause of the anxiety most people inhibited. People were plagued with small pox at the time, were in constant fear of Indian attacks, and King William’s War or what is also known as the Second Indian War was going on. Other factors include teenage boredom, and old feuds between neighbors of disputes within congregations. There was a strong belief by the Puritans that Satan was the cause and more and more people were being accused of working for the Devil. Soon there were so many accused of witchcraft that jails were approaching their capacity. Many of the accused would confess for fear of being sent to the gallows. A new court was created to hear the witchcraft cases. The judges and magistrates appointed allowed spectral evidence, or testimony of a person accusing another of witchcraft based on dreams and visions. There was little or no hard evidence against any of the accused. Hearsay, gossip, stories, unsupported assertions,
Get Access