The Salem Witch Trials Essay

1349 Words6 Pages
Before 1692, the supernatural was a part of people’s everyday normal life. This is so as people strongly believed that Satan was present and active on earth. Men and women in Salem Village believed that all the misfortunes that befell them were the work of the devil. For example, when things like infant death, crop failures or friction among the congregation occurred, people were quick to blame the supernatural. This concept first emerged in Europe around the fifteenth century and then spread to Colonial America. Formerly, peasants heavily relied on particular charms for farming and agriculture. But, over time, white magic transformed into dark magic and it became associated with evil. Even though the people of Salem believed that Satan…show more content…
The residents of Salem Village were desperate for an explanation. If the source of the affliction was not attributable to a physical malady, the community reasoned that it must be the work of Satan and so the finger pointing toward witchcraft started. Of all the executed, none confessed to the use of witchcraft, as they believed it would condemn their soul. “Everyone was so frightened that the unlucky prisoners could not hope for a fair trial.” Even though it was not solid evidence, “the hysterical ravings of the ‘bewitched’ girls were accepted as testimony.” During the later trials where none of the suspects were punished, dispute broke out over whether or not there had ever been any witchcraft in the community in the first place. It is highly possible that Abigail Williams and Ann Putnam could have been falsely creating their accusations and imitating the strange illnesses recorded, and if this were indeed the case it would explain some of their mistakes; such as their failure to identify Mrs. Cary after accusing her by name. “Twenty people had been executed for witchcraft, while over 100 more lay in prison, their property confiscated, and the name of Salem had become a synonym for mindless and cruel persecution.”
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