The Salem witch trials: a case of collective mass hysteria – part 2

All three landed on March 1, 1692 in prison. The guards pressed to name more names. More than 200 people, including those from surrounding communities were accused of being in league with the devil. Soon sat up to 150 prisoners in the cells, some died under the cruel conditions of detention. Even the four year old daughter of Sarah Good was arrested. Villagers had claimed the child had bitten them. The girl was later ransomed, her pregnant mother gave birth while in custody another child who died in prison.
Before the Special Court the whole procedure of indictment to verdict went completely arbitrary. This was because there was no functioning administration. Many prisoners were tortured to extract confessions. The 80-year-old Farmer Giles Corey did not want to testify. The torturers gave him so many heavy stones on the body that he died. The torture lasted for three days, but Corey accusing anyone.

In the hysterical heated atmosphere, the court sentenced many alleged witches to death. As first died on June 10, 1692 Bridged Bishop. Only those who called himself pleaded guilty and other names, escaped the gallows. Over the summer, 19 people were hanged, including a minister and five other men. The other 13 were elderly, poor women.

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The Salem witch trials: a case of collective mass hysteria – part 1

The witch craze started in winter 1691/92, when the young Abigail Williams suddenly extremely strange behaved. She crawled around on the floor, hid and was only unintelligible words from him. Her cousin Betty Parris behaved similarly soon. Within weeks, followed by other girl from Salem, a small town near the present-day Boston.

Abigail was the niece of the devout preacher Samuel Parris. The Puritan was convinced that his fellow belonged to the chosen people that had to sit against the devil to resist. Anyone not familiar to the Puritans, was considered demonic. All other groups of people were worth less, especially the Indians. The settlers on the east coast of the United States were at war with the natives, since the first immigrants had settled in 1607 on the east coast. Again and again, there were fierce clashes with the Indians.

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