Witches of Salem

The History of Salem Witches

Do you believe in witches? Three hundred years ago the people of Salem, Massachusetts did. The Salem Witch trial happened during the years 1692 and 1693. There were over two hundred community members suspected of practicing witchcraft, and 20 people executed. After a while, people realized that the trials were a mistake and the hysteria died down. More than 300 years later people find themselves still fascinated by these events and visit Salem, Massachusetts to learn the truth of the hysteria that happened in 1692 and how it changed the lives of many people. The history of Salem has given insight to many on the repercussions of wrongful accusations.

The hysteria began in Reverend Samuel Parris’ home. Samuel Parris was born in London to a family who was financially successful. He ventured to Boston in 1660 to attend Harvard College, but because of his father’s death, he returned home in 1673. Later Parris moved to Barbados to run a sugar plantation which was his inheritance. While there he purchased two slaves, Tituba and John Indian, to help run the plantation. Parris sold off some of his land and moved back to Boston with his two slaves, due to damage from a hurricane in 1680. He married Elizabeth Eldridge, and they had three children. In 1689 Salem ordained Reverend Samuel Parris as their first minister. He was greedy and strict which made him unpopular with the community.

In 1692, Reverend Parris’ daughter Elizabeth and niece Abagail Williams started having fits (Blumberg, 2007). Soon other young girls such as Ann Putnum Jr, Mary Walcott, Mercy Lewis, Elizabeth Hubbard, Susannah Sheldon, Mary Warren and Elizabeth Booth began experiencing similar behavior (Brooks, 2011). They would scream, convulse, throw things, hide under furniture and make strange noises. The village doctor, William Griggs blamed it on the supernatural, but the girls were accusing people of bewitching them in the village. In February, 1692 the...