The Salem witch trials occurred in colonial Massachusetts between the years of 1692 and 1693. More than 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft, nineteen were executed by way of hanging, and one by being pressed to death. Eventually, the colony admitted that the trials were a mistake and paid back the families of those convicted. Ever since, the stories of the trials have become compatible with paranoia and injustice, and it continues to entice the popular imagination many years later.
The beginning of the Salem Witch Trials can be traced to Reverend Samual Parris, who before becoming a minister, worked as a merchant in Barbados. Upon his return to Massachusetts he brought back two slaves. One of the slaves "Tituba," cared for his nine year old daughter "Elizabeth," called Betty, and his 11 year old niece "Abigal". Tituba began telling stories to the girls about voodoo. The girls were fascinated with voodoo and soon started playing with it. They were soon joined by other girls in the village and started telling each others’ fortune. One of their methods was to float an egg white in a glass of water and predict their future husbands. During this time, the girls began showing very strange behavior by having fits, making strange noises, and contorting their bodies into strange positions. (Linder) Reverend Parris brought in Dr. William Griggs who could diagnose no medical condition for the girls so he diagnosed bewitchment.
It was then decided to find the witches responsible and kill them. So the girls were placed under enormous pressure to name names. The first accused in the Salem Witch Trials were the slave Tituba, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborne. Warrants for their arrest were issued and the Salem Witch Trials had begun. All three appeared in the house of Nathaniel Ingersoll before Salem Town Magistrates, John Hawthorne and Jonathan Corwin. (Blumberg)
As the women testified in the Salem Witch Trials, the girls again, fell into fits claiming the...