Salem Witchcraft Trials Essay

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Salem Witchcraft Trials

Thesis Statement ================

The Salem Witchcraft Trials occurred because of the depth of Salem Puritans' belief in witchcraft and the devil.

Introduction ============

The Salem Witchcraft trials started in 1692 resulting in 19 executions and 150 accusations of witchcraft. This was the biggest outbreak of witchcraft hysteria in colonial New England. The trials began because three young girls, Betty Parris, Abigail Williams and Ann Putnam began having hysterical fits, convulsions and terrifying visions after being caught engaging in forbidden fortune telling[1]. The doctors couldn't diagnose the condition, so the puritans termed it as
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The first women to be accused of witchcraft in Salem were seen as different and as social outcasts: Tituba, a slave; Sarah Good, a homeless beggar; and Sarah Osborne, a sickly old woman who married her servant. These women were unpopular and it was easy to point fingers at them. Gossips and rumors were enough to accuse them.

Tituba[3] was a dark skinned slave who lived in the household of the Reverend Samuel Parris. She was familiar with the West Indian Voodoo and practicing magic. In the evenings Tituba entertained little Betty and her cousin Abigail Williams by the kitchen fire. She played fortune-telling games and told them stories of magic and spirits from the Caribbean. Tituba was pointed out by the three girls and accused of teaching them witchcraft and fortune telling, which resulted in their strange behavior. Tituba did not deny the allegations. She confessed to being a witch after Reverend Parris beat her. Because she confessed, she was not executed. In her trial she said "The devil came to me and bid me serve him" and talked about black dogs, red cats, yellow birds, and a white-haired man who bade her sign the devil's book. She also identified Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne as witches. Since the people were superstitious and believed in the
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