Salem Witch Trials

1692

How and why the Salem Witch Trials started

The Salem witch trials began in 1692 after a group of girls from Salem Village, Massachusetts claimed that they were possessed by the devil and accused several women in the town of witchcraft(www.history.com). As hysteria spread throughout Massachusetts a special court was assembled in Salem to hear the cases. And the first convicted witch, Bridget Bishop, was hanged that June. Eighteen others were hanged after Bridget at Salem’s Gallows Hill. But not everyone who was accused were convicted. 150 men, women, and children were accused over the next several months(www.history.com). But not everyone died on Gallows Hill some died in prison due sickness.

The girls who had said that they were being possessed by the devil were having convulsive seizures, blasphemous screaming, and trance-like states (http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com). But they were not really being possessed by the devil. Scientists have one theory of what really went on. They think that it was just a rare case of food poisoning caused by rye, the staple grain of Salem. And under the right condition rye can become infected with a fungus called Ergot. Eating Ergot can cause muscle spasms, delusions seizures and contortions. And these symptoms were much like the ones reported for the “bewitching”. And Ergot grows in warm, damp conditions and the summer of 1691 had been particularly wet and all the girls lived near marshes. And the summer of 1692 had been dry. (http://www.history.com)

Standford Prison Experiment summery and connection.

The Stanford Prison Experiment was when college students were put into a stimulated prison. The experiment was suppose to last three weeks but ended after 6 days. All of these students were mentally and physically healthy and none had a criminal record. They were each given a role of either a guard or prisoner. But just after days the guards became manipulating and vicious and the prisoners started to shows signs of extreme stress and depression. Basically what happened was the guards stripped their morals because they became to involved with their role as a guard.

Why I connected with the Standford prison Experiment. I connected with it because the people in Salem were only going off on what young girls were telling them. But they also thought it was right to hang people who they convicted of being witches, when these people weren't really witches. And in both cases they stripped their morals and became not very good people.

Milgrims Experiment summery and connection

In Milgrims Experiment they had two people come in to do what they told them was an experiment but one was a payed actor. Then they told them what was going to happen and that there was going to be a "teacher" and a "student" and that they would make the student answer questions and if they got it wrong they would have to "shock" them. But they weren't really shocking them they just recorded their voices yelling out in pain.

They then had them draw sticks and the actor purposely got the student. Once they knew their roles they took both of the people into a room so they could show the volunteer that the actor got strapped in. And gave the volunteer a little shock to show them that it was real. And it made them believe that it was real. And after that they went into a seperate room and made them start asking questions. After each wrong question they had to up the voltage. Once they got to a certain voltage they wanted to stop but there was an authority figure in the room telling them that no matter what that they had to go on. In conclusion 63% of the people went all the way up to the highest voltage only because they were told to do it.

I connected to this to the Salem Witch Trials because the people who were accused were told that they had to confess even though they hadn't done anything wrong. They were also told that they had done something wrong. And they also had to release other names of other "witches" only because they were told they had to.