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Salem Witch Trials

Valuable Links to Witch Trial Information

An accused witch at trial

Intolerance leads to hysteria... The Salem Witch Trials are one of the great atrocities ever wrought against a group of people out of sheer ignorance and pure hatred. They were an incidence of bias and prejudice in its basest form and yet so many people seem to know so very little about them. Perhaps it's because many of those same old misconceptions and prejudices that caused the Salem Witch Trials and other similar events to occur still exist in society today, or perhaps it's because no one believes anything like them could ever happen again. To believe the latter is only further proof of the ignorance that still exists, to believe the former is a state of denial. Be vigilant. Be compassionate. Be tolerant.

Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive

Mayflower and Early Families

Notable Women Ancestors: Witches by Sam Casey This site includes links to biographies of many women accused of witchcraft, including:

Goody Cole and Jonathan Moulton by John Putnam Demos

Witch City -- Our Review by Peg Aloi

The Peabody-Essex Museum, in Salem, MA

The Salem Witch Museum

Medieval Sourcebook: Witchcraft Documents [15th Century]

Salem Wax Museum

Witch Dungeon Museum

The Associated Daughters of Early American Witches

Witch trial history, folklore, and more

The Salem Witch Trials Page by Tim Sutter

Chronology of Events Relating to the Salem Witchcraft Trials

The Crucible and the Classroom: An Examination of Arthur Miller's Technique of Dealing with the Devil by George M. Ella

Petition of 10 Persons of Ipswich

The Salem Witch Trials were among the last outbreaks of persecution for accused witches, but it was also one of the darkest times in American history. The episode began when a few young girls were caught playing with a crystal ball. In an attempt to escape punishment, they claimed to have been bothered by a witch. With almost an insane fervor, authorities—acting rashly—proceeded to seek out and punish the witch responsible for tormenting the girls.

The town's newly arrived minister, Samuel Parris, not only did nothing to easy people's fears, but in fact helped to fuel them by telling people witches were everywhere and no one could be trusted. Neighbor accused neighbor and many profited personally from the confiscation of property. The need for retribution against any suspected witch eventually deteriorated to the point where "spectral evidence" was accepted. Spectral evidence involved witnesses being allowed to testify in court that a spirit had told them about someone being a witch.

By the time this tragedy closed nineteen people had been hanged as suspected witches and over 150 more had been imprisoned for varying lengths of time. Most of those imprisoned or killed were on the fringes of society or members of families that Samuel Parris considered to be trouble-makers.

Halloween Related Information:

The Esoteric Timeline: