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The Salem Witch Trials

The Salem witch trials took place in the colonial Massachusetts back in 1692 through to 1693. In the process, over two hundred were accused of being witchcraft practitioners and doing the magic of darkness connected to the devil. This saw the execution of about twenty of them. Consequently, the colony agreed that the trials shouldn’t have been made and the families of the people who were convicted got compensation. From that time, the trials’ story has continued to be synonymous with injustice and paranoia and it has continued to captivate the common imagination for over three hundred years now.

The context and belief system

Inclination towards the supernaturally and most particularly in the practice of devil involved in giving some humans commonly known as witches, the power to cause harm to others in favor of their royalty started in Europe back in the fourteenth century and further spread to colonial New England through immigration of people into the land with such origins. Additionally, the harsh life conditions in the local Puritan society in Salem Village, now Danvers in Massachusetts at a period that was characterized by the effects that came following the British war against France in 1689 and fears from war attacks created a lot of enmity with the affluent Salem town community.

How it happened

These infamous trials started in the 1692 spring following claims that a number of young girls were possessed and under devil’s attack. It happened in the Salem village of Massachusetts. Several women were accused of being involved in such crimes after the girls were found to be in such a problem. A lot of hysteria filled the atmosphere and the environments around and beyond in colonial Massachusetts and this prompted a special court to convene in the village to listen to the cases.

The first witch to be convicted was Bridget Bishop who was hanged as a punishment. Some other eighteen people were also hanged later as a hundred and fifty men, children and women received similar accusations for a number of months that followed. This hysteria started to abate by September 1692 and the public wish turned against the continuing trials. Even though the general court in Massachusetts later negated guilty verdicts against the witches who were accused and gave indemnities to the immediate families, there was a lot of bitterness that filled the air in and around the community and the painful legacy left by Salem witch trials would now last for centuries even to this day.

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