The Salem Witch Trials of 1692

Witch-Hunt by: Marc Aronson

Myths and Stories Brought to Life

In wealthy and thriving Salem Massachusetts, jealousy and rivalry are mixed with the senses of everyday life. The time is 1692, and the god-fearing Puritans are finally becoming one with the land. They live with the seasons and preach their religion in small, but stable churches. But under the perfect, rich, and religiously enduring community, lies the Paris household. A native american slave from the Barbados named Tituba is toying with "little sorceries'' with the Paris girls, Betty Paris, and Samuel Paris's niece, Abigail Williams. These little things are strictly banned under suspiction that there are two major forces in the unseen world; God, and his evil enemy, The Devil. These "little sorceries" are believed to commune with the devil through magic. An example of these may include; dropping egg whites into a clear glass to interpret the hobby or job of the next husband. In modern times, these are classified as superstitions, such as hanging garlic behind your door to keep out evil spirits, throwing a pinch of salt with your left hand over your right shoulder to grant good luck, and even tying a red ribbon on your left wrist to avert the evil eye. Back in 1692, any of these things were thought to be the act of communing with spirits and even playing with the devil himself. The ultimate price is payed when Tituba is accused of witchcraft and she confesses to these terrible acts. Unknowingly, she has unleashed a terrible plague that infects the minds of the jealous, and attention deprived young adults of Salem. Because of this, twenty innocent victims will be murdered on accusations of Witchcraft or in other terms, selling their souls to the devil.
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This picture portrays two accused "witches" who may be reciting the Lord's Prayer in order to prove that they are both innocent.

Of Fairy Tales and Wonder-filled Fabels

In Salem, science was not at its strongest and because of this, every day phenominon was something of spiritual force. If your crops went bad, your wife became infertile, your cattle escaped or died in a sudden manner, these were acts of witchcraft. Fairy tales were not told to children as "make-believe" or untrue, these were events that somehow took place and lived to be retold. For example in the story "Sleeping Beauty" the original story speaks of a royal couple who were unable to conceive a child, but when a wise-woman made this possible, they held a royal christening for the child. Everyone gets a gift from the couple, except for the wise-woman, she curses the child and even wishes her death. To someone in 1692, this would seem almost unreal. In their eyes, they saw a perfect couple who had the burden of not having a child, but when a witch makes their dreams possible they take her for granted and the witch curses the child. Though this could seem very possible if put in modern terms such as; a king and queen cannot conceive a child, so they search the land for a mid-wife who posses the knowledge of herbs and natural remedies. Once the couple birth the child, they forget about the mid-wife and out of anger, the mid-wife uses fowl language and cusses at the couple. In other words she curses at the couple. If this was a real event, some may see how the modern version could have changed to the original version over the generations it survives through. The innocent victims of Salem were strong believers in the supernatural sense that the metaphysical could in reality become the physical.

The Innocent Victims (A Dedication)

This is a dedication to those who suffered the torment and torture under false accusations:

Rebecca Nurse

Sarah Good

Susannah Martin

Elizabeth Howe

Sarah Wildes

George Burroughs

Martha Carrier

John Willard

George Jacobs, Sr.

John Proctor

Martha Corey

Mary Eastey

Ann Pudeator

Alice Parker

Mary Parker

Wilmott Redd

Margaret Scott

Samuel Wardwell

Giles Corey

Sarah Osborn

Roger Toothaker

Lyndia Dustin

Ann Foster

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The above photo is of one of the victims named Giles Corey being "pressed". The act of "pressing" is when someone is laid between two boards and heavy boulders are put on top of the person to torture them to confess. Giles Corey was "pressed" for three days until he was physically crushed by the weight.