Kw-logo-smaller

The Salem Witch Trials of 1692

19 people were hanged during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.
Salem Witch Trials

Almost 100 years before the Declaration of Independence was signed and the United States began a country of its own, North America was home to many British colonies, including the colony of Massachusetts. It was here that Puritan colonists held the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.

Setting the Scene

It was a period of unrest in Salem, Massachusetts at the end of the 17th Century. There were struggles between the two distinct parts of Salem - Salem Village and Salem Town. Many of the farmers resided in Salem Village and were bent on separating from Salem Town. They soon set up their own church where Reverend Samuel Parris presided. It was because of Reverend Parris' daughter and niece that the Salem Witch Trials began.

The Finger Pointing Begins

Samuel Parris' daughter, Elizabeth Parris, and his niece, Abigail Williams, came down with a strange ailment in late 1691, early 1692. Because the doctor couldn't find anything physically wrong with the two girls, it was decided they must have been bewitched. The girls quickly pointed a finger at Parris' Indian slave, Tituba, as the one who had afflicted them. Tituba was jailed and later sold to pay off her jail fees. The girls also accused homeless woman Sarah Good and an elderly woman, Sarah Osborne. Neither woman had attended church in over a year, which among the Puritans, was considered a sin. Though Tituba did end up admitting her involvement in witchcraft, both Sarah Osborne and Sarah Good professed their innocence until the day they died.

Accusations Continue

Despite the accused witches' pleas of innocence, more and more people were singled out as witches (both women and men), throughout 1692. In the end, over 200 people from Salem and bordering towns were accused of practicing witchcraft. 19 people were hanged, including Sarah Good and up to 17 people died while awaiting their trials. While some decided to admit to practicing witchcraft, for one reason or another, the majority of the accused maintained their innocence until they were hanged. One man, Giles Corey, refused to take part in his trial and therefore was crushed to death slowly by having stones placed upon his chest over a period of two days. All the while, he continued to profess his innocence.

The End of the Salem Witch Trials

In October of 1692, the witchcraft trials were called to an end. All those who had been accused of witchcraft were pardoned. Those who were still in prison had to pay for the food they ate while in jail, otherwise they would have to remain there. Many people lost everything they owned.

The Legacy

To this day, no one really knows what caused the girls' illness. Five years after the witch trials ended, Samuel Parris and his family moved to another town in Massachusetts, but the devastating effects of the witch trials lasted long after they had gone.

Related Stories:

readers voted!

Comments

snivylol

snivylol wrote:

I just.remembered IM IN SALEM
commented: Sun Jan 11, 2015

corilove143

corilove143 wrote:

wasnt that all based off of some girls who wanted attention???????
commented: Sat Nov 30, 2013

masterblaster123
you mean the blaire witch project
commented: Thu Nov 28, 2013

there are 26 more comments

Please login or register to add comments


like this article?
Sign up now to get more just like it!

latest videos

F1032999206078

First Witch Found Guilty in Salem?

  • Sarah Good.
  • Sarah Osborne.
  • Giles Corey.
  • Bridget Bishop.

related stories

Thousands of years ago it was common to make nagging wives wear a metal mask. In the Middle Ages ...

Random in the forums

GaaraOfTheSand
GaaraOfTheSand posted in General:
Łis ten to music
reply 3 minutes
Zelittledoctor
Zelittledoctor posted in Food:
I can devour a pizza like the L.A Beast.
reply 9 minutes
Zelittledoctor
Give this man a gold metal -Abe Lincoln This man speaks the truth -Chuck Norris
reply 10 minutes
Zelittledoctor
FNAF Master Race.
reply 20 minutes
emilyalana
emilyalana posted in Food:
well of course everyone is healthy but I mean would you prefer to eat junk food or vegetables and would you rather have food or drink
reply 22 minutes

play online games

Valantine-day-crossword-thumb

Valentine's Day is almost here! Time for candy, hearts, flowers, love and, of co...

Goodgameempire-thumb

Goodgame Empire is a great strategy title by Goodgame Studios. Build your own ca...

Black-history-month-crossword-pre

Black History Month is a time to celebrate the amazing contributions of African ...

Big-farm-thumb

Uncle George has left you his farm, but unfortunately it’s in pretty bad shape. ...

Candy-cash-thumb

Candy's got her candies into a terrible mess, can you help her to sort them out?

Candy-100

A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

_thumb_100x100

Bloons 2 is here! A worthy and awesome sequel at last to our original Bloons gam...

Frostbox_100x100

Explore the world or hang out with friends in your own condo. Get a unique look,...