Mankind: The Story of All of Us TV - Unsolved History TV - Salem Witch Trial Conspiracy TV - Witch Hunters’ Bible TV - In Search of History TV -
1692 Salem, Massachusetts: A community in meltdown. Mankind: The Story of All of Us IX: Pioneers, History 2012
During the year of 1692 in the North American colony of Massachusetts twenty men and women were executed. Their accusers were children. Their crime was witchcraft. The Salem Witch Trials stand as one of the darkest periods in early American history. What caused an entire village to go mad? Unsolved History: Salem Witch Trials, Discovery 2003
By the end of 1692, 150 people had been accused. ibid.
Cases of convulsions and accused witches spread all over Essex Country. ibid.
Whatever judicial system was in place failed ... The Salem Trials were one of the most shocking miscarriages of justice in all of American history. No law, no evidence, no justice. ibid.
What could have sent the girls into such violent fits? ibid.
Ergot was first suggested as a culprit thirty years ago. ibid.
The guilty met a brutal and final end. ibid.
In 1692 witchcraft fever burns through puritan New England. It tears the small frontier village of Salem apart. As residents turn on friends and neighbours fearing the devil is among them. Nineteen are sentenced to death. Was it a case of mass hysteria, devil worship, or the act of just one man? Salem Witch Trial Conspiracy, National Geographic 2011
Salem Village: at its heart was the Parsonage – the home of the Reverend Samuel Parris and his family. ibid.
Forty-nine-year-old Sarah Osborne is arrested on the same day as Sarah Good. Both women conform to the classic profile of those accused of being witches: Sarah Good is poor and unpopular; Osborne is scandalously remarried to her live-in servant. Most significantly neither woman has been attending church. ibid.
Parris’s sermons now warn that the church is under attack ... Parris is warning of witches at work in Salem. Paving the way for the chaos to come. ibid.
With an early winter approaching the minister has no fuel, no income, and is in danger of losing his home. ibid.
Two girls under his roof start behaving oddly, setting the stage for the single largest witch-hunt in the English-speaking world. ibid.
Tituba fits the classic witch profile ... She is the slave of Sam Parris. ibid.
Tituba’s description of witchcraft reflects the description in English law. It’s strikingly at odds with her background as a Caribbean slave. ibid.
They discover that the majority of those accusing witches are full members of the church loyal to Samuel Parris. Insiders. But when they plot those accused of witchcraft they revealed that the majority are not church members. Outsiders. ibid.
Hysteria took hold as accusations started to fly. Panic spread through Essex County. In all 162 people were arrested on charged of witchcraft. 5 died in jail including Sarah Osborne. 19 died at the gallows ... Tituba never hanged; her confession saved her life. Throughout the trials not one person who confessed to witchcraft was executed. Parris held on to his job for 4 more years. ibid.
Salem, Massachusetts: rumours of violent acts of witchcraft against children begin to circulate. And accusations turn ugly. Some prominent citizens dare the unspeakable: they express doubt. They question the validity of the charges and of the witch-hunt itself. They too stand accused. Any who express doubt or defend their honour are suspected. Witch Hunter’s Bible, National Geographic 2011
In 1692 mass hysteria and rampant paranoia swept the New England countryside. Citizens in the small village of Salem were being accused of casting spells, of consorting with the devil, of being witches. This persecution was a relatively new phenomenon in America. In Search of History s3e3: Salem With Trials, History 1998
Torturing suspected witches was justified in the eyes of the [English] law. ibid.
Thousands of innocent lives were lost. ibid.
The first witch trial in Massachusetts was not in Salem, it was in Charlestown in 1648. ibid.
On January 16th 1697 a day of public fasting was held in Salem to ask God’s forgiveness for past sins. ibid.