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Salem Witchcraft Trials - What Happened, and How it Effects the Modern Day Witch

May 20, 2008
The Salem Witch trials showed a hideous and violent side of the early American settlers who migrated to the North American continent supposedly to escape religious persecution.

Here are the facts: In 1692, Salem, Massachusetts, three little girls related to the Reverend Samuel Parris started showing symptoms of an unknown illness. They screamed, threw things around, uttered strange sounds and even pretended to fly around the room. The frightened onlookers could find no reason for this behavior. As the number of children afflicted with this behavior increased, the children were asked if they knew of any reason for their afflictions.

They pointed out three poor and helpless people including their family slave Tituba who used to take care of them. Tituba was originally from Barbados and
used to entertain the children with strange stories from her home country. The three originally accused were helpless human beings, shunned by society and with no one to stand by them.

All three women were accused of hurting the girls using witchcraft and jailed. As the children realized how much power they had, they started accusing
different people, including church members and other respected community
members. Soon there were more than 150 people who were accused of practicing witchcraft and jailed.

The first person to be tried was Bridget Bishop. In a single day, she was found guilty and hanged on June 10, 1692. More people were tried and then hanged. A total of nineteen people (fourteen women and five men) were hanged and one was crushed to death because he refused to stand trial. Many died in the prisons. A 4 year old was forced to give testimony against her mother who was subsequently jailed for being a witch.

This ghastly mockery of justice has left a lot of people puzzled as to how something like this could have happened. Some say that girls and women in
general had very little self-respect because of the conditions of living in those times. Boys were able to enjoy life outdoors with the men, going fishing,
swimming or just playing games while the girls were imprisoned in their own home, barely seen and not heard at all.

When humans are stripped of any power that they have and treated as slaves, their behavior is usually dictated by instinct, rather than cultural mores.
There are many herbs and roots that are poisonous and these could have made the children behave in strange ways. The girls were alone at home with no adults
around and it is possible that they ingested something that behaved like a psychedelic drug. America was a new, unchartered and strange country to the
pilgrims.
About the Author
Rose Ariadne has been practicing ancient forms of Witchcraft for over 25 years. Get more info about Salem Witchcraft Trials here: http://www.askroseariadne.com/editorials/salem_witchcraft_trials.html
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