This is an account of the events leading up to and during the Salem witch trails. Also added are bio's of key characters during the trails.

Essay by Great8College, Undergraduate December 2003

download word file, 6 pages 3.0

When a person first thinks of the word "witch" the first thing that comes to mind is the silly old woman who wears all black, wart on her nose, and rides a broom. As strange as it is, there was a time when the joke wasn't so funny. In 1692 there was an event called the Salem witch trials that took place in Salem, Massachusetts. Nineteen men and women who were wrongly accused of committing witchcraft were hung after a judge and jury found them guilty. The events that took place during the Salem witch trials are some of the most famous and dark times of the United States.

The way the trials began was that John Putnam was elected to be the town minister. He moved his family to the town of Salem and was a respected man in the community. John's family consisted of his wife Elizabeth, daughter Betty, and niece Abigail.

At about the same time this was going on a book by Cotton Mather entitled Memorable Providences was gaining much popularity (Linder). This book had a huge influence because it described the witchcraft of a "suspected witchcraft of an Irish washerwoman in Boston" (Linder). It listed the same symptoms that John's daughter Betty was having. Shortly after, three other girls began to have the same unusual behavior that was reflected the book. These girls began to convince other people in the village that the devil was amongst them, that witches were making these girls act in such a ridiculous manner. The first three people that the girls accused were Tituba, a Indian slave of John's, Sarah Good a town misfit who lived anywhere she could, and the third was Sarah Osborn who was a very old woman who hadn't attended church for over a year (which...