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

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celticspirit
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PostSubject: Salem Witchcraft Trials - What Happened, and How it Effects the Modern Day Witch   Fri May 13, 2011 8:58 am

Salem Witchcraft Trials - What Happened, and How it Effects the Modern Day Witch
Posted: May 20, 2008 |Comments: 0 | Views: 223 |

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.

(ArticlesBase SC #420070)



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Faerielass
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PostSubject: Re: Salem Witchcraft Trials - What Happened, and How it Effects the Modern Day Witch   Fri May 13, 2011 12:49 pm

Its difficult to imagine how a group of seemingly rational people would allow it to spiral out of control . Salem was a town of Puritan Faith where male dominance ruled and women were not allowed to speak the word of god . Its been documented that many piritan communities were haters of women and scholar's have suggested that this most probably played a vital role in the witchtrials . Whatever was the cause it ended up in mass hysteria it just kept gaining momentum, it was such a sad event Crying or Very sad
Faerielass


Medical theories about the reported afflictionsMain article: Medical and psychological explanations of bewitchment
The cause of the symptoms of those who claimed affliction continues to be a subject of interest. Various medical and psychological explanations for the observed symptoms have been explored by researchers, including psychological hysteria in response to Indian attacks, convulsive ergotism caused by eating rye bread made from grain infected by the fungus Claviceps purpurea (which is the natural substance from which LSD is derived),[90] an epidemic of bird-borne encephalitis lethargica, and sleep paralysis to explain the nocturnal attacks alleged by some of the accusers.[91] Other modern historians are less inclined to believe in biological explanations, preferring instead to explore motivations such as jealousy, spite, and a need for attention to explain behavior they contend was simply acting.
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