What Happened During The Salem Witch Trials

1300 WordsOct 5, 20176 Pages
What Happened During the Salem Witch Trials? The Salem Witch Trials were a tragic time in the history of America. The witch trials officially began in February 1692. In January 1692, eleven-year-old Abigail Williams and nine-year-old Elizabeth (Betty) Parris in Salem Village, Massachusetts, began experiencing fits, including violent distortions and uncontrollable outpourings of screaming. Doctor William Griggs diagnosed the two girls with bewitchment. Puritans believed that a witch must draw an individual under a spell in order to become bewitched; therefore, the girls could not have brought this upon themselves. Soon, they were questioned and forced to name their oppressors. The two girls named the women in which they believed had…show more content…
It was rescinded due to colonists who had contravened many of the charter’s rules. In 1691, Mary and William of Orange, the new King and Queen of England, instead of reissuing the old charter, issued a new one that was more anti-religious. Also, they combined the Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts Bay Colony, and many more colonies into one. Since the accused witches were considered hazardous prisoners, they were held in the dungeon. They were chained to the walls because the jailers believed that this would keep their spirits from torturing their victims and escaping the jail. During the trials, not everyone in Salem supported the trials or believed in witchcraft. A local farmer, John Proctor, was one of many that ridiculed at the idea of witchcraft in Salem and called the small girls scam artists. Critics were often accused of witchcraft because it was believed that anyone who defended the accused or denied the existence of witches must be one, and were carried to trial. The Salem courthouse is where the witch trials were held. The court handed down its first conviction on June 2, 1622, against Bridget Bishop. She had been accused of witchcraft years before, but had been cleared of the crime. She was accused by five of the oppressed girls, including Mary Walcott, Ann Putnam Jr., Elizabeth Hubbard, Abigail Williams, and Mercy Lewis. These girls declared that Bridget had hurt them physically and tried to get them to
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