Salem Witch Trials
Superstition and witchcraft resulted in many being hanged or
in prison. In the seventeenth century, a belief in witches and
witchcraft was almost universal. In Salem Massachusetts where the
witch trials take place many people who are suspicious is accused of
witchcraft and hanged. Arthur Miller wrote a play called The Crucible.
It is based on the Salem witch trials. The Salem witch trials change
many peoples lives and even led to death for some. The power of
superstition and hearsay can distort from the truth.
Four ministers of Salem joined Matther, and they spent a whole
day in the house of the afflicted in fasting and prayer. The result
of which was the delivery of one of the family from the power of the
witch. A niece and daughter of the parish minister at Danvers were
first afflicted. Their actions frightened other young people, who soon
showed the same symptoms, such as loss of appetite and sickness.
belief quickly spread over Salem and throughout the state that evil
spirits are being seen in Salem. Terror took possession of the minds
of nearly all the people, and the dread made the affliction spread
widely. "The afflicted, under the influence of the witchery, "admitted
to see the forms of their tormentors with their inner vision" (Miller
1082). and would immediately accuse some individual seen with the
devil. At times the afflicted and the accused became so numerous that
no one was safe from suspicion and its consequences. Even those who
were active in the prosecutions became objects of suspicion.
Revenge often impelled persons to accuse others who were
innocent and when some statement of the accused would move the court
and audience in favor of the prisoner. "I saw Goody Osborn with the
devil" (Miller 1060).