In Search of History: The Salem Witch Trials Guided Notes

1692- Salem Massachusetts
People were accused of casting spells and talking to the devil
In the Bible the book of Exodus says
Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live
The Pope
Made attitudes towards witchcraft more violent
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Witch hunts
were a convenient and powerful tool to get rid of imagined or real enemies and authorities did very little to stop these hunts; encouraged people to turn their neightbors in and be afraid of eachother
Concreate Evidence
this was still needed once someone was accused of being a witch
When thrown in water
a witch would float while an innocent person would sink
was used to get a confession
Puritans in Massachusetts
came to the new world to create a new perfect society based on the Bible- a theocracy with no separation between Church and State (considered Act of Treason)
Central to the Puritans’ beliefs- Satan was very real to them
Salem was particularly vulnerable to a witch hunt because ti was considered a “wilderness settlement”
Puritans had to search ofr
clues in tehir lives about whether they were predestined for heaven or hell (anxiety at the core of the Puritan religion
were considered more likely to be women since they were suppost to be submissive
Samual Parris (Reverend)
Events belived to have started in the kitchen of
Elizabeth Parris and Abigail Williams left in the care of
Tituba (slave brought from Curribean, Barbados)
told stories about home in Barbados; demonstrated voodoo tricks
Girls began to act strangly
When the word of God was spoken they covered their ears and screamed; transe experienses; felt like throwing themselves into the fire; felt prickles/ stabbes like knifes; threw fits- no physical explination, diagnoses= witchcraft
Sarah Good (Town Begger), Sarah Osborne (Married an indentured survent), Tituba
Specter Evidence
person spirt attacks you
Addmited to being a witch
Tituba; said she signed the devils book in blood
Rebecca Nurse
arrested ; reflected a pronounced split in Salem; sticking up for her (higher status) accused (farmers/lower class)
Total Arrested
more than 100
People that lost their lives

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