Salem Witch Trials

Salem, MA tested young girls for acting strange in 1692-1693

The Infamous Salem Witch Trials

Young girls screamed and barked like dogs. Strange dances happened in the woods. A doctor was called to the scene, and after examination, he decided the girls were bewitched. There were 5 types of trials. First, they must try a simple test like reciting The Lord's Prayer. second, they were examined physically for birthmarks, moles, or blemishes, which were seen as "possible portals through which Satan could enter their bodies. The third test was witness testimony. Anybody who could attribute misfortune might help get a conviction. The fourth test was spectral evidence. People believed satan could not take the body of an unwilling person. So, if anyone saw a ghost or spirit in the body of the accused, the person must be a witch. The last test was the Confession. In many cases, it was the only way out. The confessor would, according to U.S. History, tearfully throw herself or himself on mercy on the town or court promising repentance. None of the confessors were executed. 20 people and 2 dogs were executed for witchcraft in Salem. One was pressed to death under piles of stones for refusing to testify.
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