Salem Witchcraft Trials Of 1692

1194 Words Oct 7th, 2014 5 Pages
Courtney Gray
English III-3rd block
Mrs. Gray
19 March 2012
Important Facts in the Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692 Black magic. The Dark Arts. Voodoo. Sorcery. Conjuring. Witchcraft. No matter what they chose to call it, witchcraft was an evil association with the devil and the use of magic or the alleged use of magic, in the eyes of the Puritans of Salem, Massachusetts. And it was the “alleged” part that caused the Salem Witchcraft Trials tragedy of 1692. The Puritans believed the signs of witchcraft were apparent if only people knew what to look for. Witches had physical signs, called “witches’ marks,” such as moles or other skin anomalies (Linder ¶15). Anyone in league with the devil was also believed to be unable to recite the Lord’s Prayer, and George Burroughs cast serious doubt on the validity of the trials when he recited the Lord’s Prayer flawlessly as he stood upon the gallows (Netzley 215). Sadly, it was not enough to spare his life.
The magistrates also believed “spectral evidence” was an acceptable means of identifying a witch. Spectral evidence was testimony that relied on the accusers, who allegedly saw the accused witch’s specter loose in Salem, causing pain and trouble to the good people in town (Benson, Brannen and Valentine 1362). Spectral evidence was impossible to prove or disprove, since only the afflicted people could see the specters (Benson, Brannen and Valentine 1362).
Once a person was accused of witchcraft, he or she had to be put to the…
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