Witch-Hunt: Mysteries of the Salem Witch Trials by Marc AronsonSalem, Massachusetts, 1692. In a plain meetinghouse a woman stands before her judges. The accusers, girls and young women, are fervent and overexcited. The accused is a poor, unpopular woman who had her first child before she was married. As the trial proceeds the girls begin to wail, tear their clothing, and scream that the woman is hurting them. Some of them expose wounds to the horrified onlookers, holding out the pins that have stabbed them -- pins that appeared as if by magic. Are they acting or are they really tormented by an unseen evil? Whatever the cause, the nightmare has begun: The witch trials will eventually claim twenty-five lives, shatter the community, and forever shape the American social conscience.
42 Wicked Facts About the Salem Witch Trials
All rights reserved. These trials happened in Salem, Massachusetts, during the winter and spring of When it was all over, suspects, both men and women, were tried as witches. Nineteen were executed by hanging. One was pressed to death by heavy stones.
Partly, this is because we now know that virtually anyone could be accused of witchcraft for no reason at all and sentenced to death with no proof at all. A doctor decided they had been cursed by a witch, a conclusion that the little girls went along with. Little did they know, this conclusion of theirs would change history. And so the first three accused witches -- Sarah Goode, Sarah Osborne, and an Indian slave from Barbados named Tituba -- were charged with practicing witchcraft on the cousins. Following their accusations, more and more people became "afflicted," and more and more people were accused, jailed, tried, and punished for being witches. For example, did you know that not a single person was burned at the stake in Salem for being a witch? They were all hanged with the exception of one man, who suffered a much worse fate, and whom we will discuss on this list.