Historical records indicate that the belief in the supernatural world emerged in Europe as early 13th century. These harsh realities were commonly experienced in the villages that later spread to the colonial New England rural lands. During this period, the witchcraft was often associated with the use of a certain spiritual and supernatural powers to harm others in return for their loyalty. In 1692, Salem Witch Trials in the United States represented a unique history of Witch hunts to the entire world. This society decided to carry out unjustified accusations in order to stabilize fear and prevent the further spread of witchcraft. Their tales remind the society of their helpless past in the unjustified bars and the mysteries of the credentials used by these judges on their professional practice (Hunt 76).
Comparable tales of the ancient times narrate that these accusations lacked valid evidences and most the children’s testimonies were coerced by prosecutors and therapist in order to achieve their malice gains. In January 1692, a warrant of arrest was made on tree poor women who were accused of bewitching 11-year old Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Parries started experiencing uncontrollable violent contortions and screams. The three invalidly accused witches were brought before the court. These women convincingly tried to defend their rights and innocence thought the trials. Unfortunately, the court found them guilty without any clear evidence. Despite lack of valid evidence, the wheels of injustice were allowed to turn and grind these three poor women who were accused innocently. The hysteria continued to spread in these poor villages and to the rest of Massachusetts. Quite a number of other women were also accused and the wheels of the injustice continued grinding (Hunt 102).
In the ancient Salem before the 1692 killing of dozens of witches, people had put strong beliefs in the abilities of the witches. In order to defend the accusations, much paraphernalia was used. A witch cake of rye meal mixed with urine of the girls used to be fed to the dogs in order that the dog would portray similar symptoms the girls (Verlet). This ritual would allow the involvement of witchcraft by the girl who would then be subjected to the questioning of her abilities by the villagers in order to determine the source of her powers. Such an affliction of several girls was a representation of the witch crisis in the society and of the determinant of the entire cause of events in the society (Philip 2).
Refuting the dubious value of these evidences, one of the respected ministers Cotton Mather warned on these Salem witch trials. Amid achieving an overwhelming public support, the governor Phillips dissolved these insensitive courts. Though the trials continued, its intensity reduced to higher levels and by the year 1693, the memorable governor pardoned and released all of the people that were accused of witchcraft changes from the prison. Later some years, the whole Massachusetts society realized the lost of track, they fasted, and Justice Samuel publicly apologized on the unlawful trials that were carried out by the court (Philip 2).
In conclusion, even though witch accusations, trials, and hysteria damage to these rural areas is still lingering and creating a vivid and painful legacy, it is time to check and ensure that such injustice practices are not repeated in today’s judicial system.
Hunt, Lynn, Thomas R. Martin, Barbara Rosenwein, and Bonnie G. Smith, The Making of the West: (Bedford/St Martin’s, Boston, 2013). Peoples and Cultures. A Concise History, volume 2 (since 1500). 4th edition pp. 1-388
Hunt, Lynn, Thomas R. Martin, Barbara Rosenwein, and Bonnie G. Smith, Sources of The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures, Bedford/St Martin’s, Boston, 2012. Volume 2 (since 1500), 4th edition pp. 1-288
Matthew Hopkins and their familiars" or "The Witch Finder General." (2006) Woodcut created pre-1650.
Philip Terzian, PROVIDENCE J. "RECOVERED MEMORY CASES ARE TODAY'S WITCH HUNTS." The Salt Lake Tribune Jun 07 1995: 1-2. ProQuest. 17 May 2014.
Verlet, Melissa. "The Witch Hysteria." File last modified August 2012. Microsoft PowerPoint file.