Burn The Witch! (Well, hang the witch…)

Or alternatively, the Salem Witch Trials. This is a subject that absolutely fascinates me and I can’t wait to tell you guys about it.

We’ll start with, while generally known as The Salem Witch Trials, many of the preliminary hearings actually happened in the surrounding areas, such as: Salem Village (now Danvers), Andover, Ipswich, and, of course, Salem Town, where the most famous (or is it infamous?) trials took place in the courts of Oyer and Terminer.

The trials took place in 1692 to 1693, high stress abound. There was a lot of horrible shit in those times, and when two young girls, the daughter and niece of Reverend Samuel Parris, became ill and didn’t get better, the doctor, unable to explain it, claimed it was witchcraft.

This illness, extreme fits of hysteria and what a lot of people would liken to possession, would start popping up in other girls as well and it didn’t take long before the first accusation was thrown.

Over one hundred and fifty people were accused, over twenty were executed, among them the majority were women. Later, five would die in jail, two of those five were babies.

(This is sadder than I planned, sorry *tries not to cry too much*)

Despite popular belief, the majority of accused were executed by hanging, all but one, in fact, and none of them were burned at the stake.

(This popular misconception is likely due to the witch hunts in Europe, where execution by fire was distressingly common.)

There’s a museum dedicated to these events, a memorial in Danvers, a park in Salem, and another memorial being planned in Salem. Not nearly enough for these people, but at least everyone knows they were innocent, now.

Later I may go into more detail on the people, but I’ll leave it for now. That being said, did I leave anything out that you think should be mentioned? Do you think I got something wrong? Feel free to tell me, I only want the facts, after all 😉.

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