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The Salem Witch Trials

The Salem Witch Trials

Girls in Salem Village started to show some very strange behavior during January 1692. The young girls were screaming blasphemy, experiencing convulsive seizures and were often in trance like states of mind. This small community could give no explanations. Professionals failed to find reason, and from this the hysteria began, it is the work of Satan the witches had proven successful and had invaded Salem.

The small Salem community only did what they thought would help and that was to try and detox the witches out by fasting and praying to rid the devils inflictions on the people. One of three ladies examined confessed to seeing the devil. Later Tituba went on to say that a group of conspiring witches permeaed the village of Salem. It was in march when these afflicted girls pointed the finger and it was that of Martha Corey.

Martha was a respected member of Puritan congregation allowing the devil to reach the center of the community through her witching ways. From march the village of Salam saw the start of trial, convictions and even death. The executions were permitted through hangings which began in June with the death of Bridget Bishop and continued through to September. After 19 executed one crushed to death and possibly more than four died in prison waiting trial the governor released the local court of inquiry in October.

Lets now take a look at the Trial of Martha Corey 1692;

Martha Corey was called for examination at the magistrates of Salem, the day was a Monday and the date was the 21st of March. The examination began at noon holding inside many spectators including that of Mr. Noyes who started with a pathetic prayer. The questions began with Mr. Halthorne asking her why she afflicted the girls. Her response was that she did no such thing, so he went on to ask 'who would have been then? ' her response was that she did know and asked how could she know?

The number of the afflicted persons were around at that time ten. Four married women:; three maids-. Mary Walcut, Mercy Lewes, at Thomas Putnam's, Mrs. Pope, Mrs. Putnam, Good wife Bibber, and an ancient woman named Goodall; and a maid at Dr. Griggs's; there were three girls from nine to twelve years of age. Elizabeth Parris, Abigail Williams, and Ann Putnam.

Most of them attended the examination of Mrs. Good wife Corey and so did accuse her strongly of afflicting them. While the accused said of her innocence and of what a gospel women she was. The accusers in turn called her a gospel witch. Ann Putnam affirmed that day of being at the accuser's house and seeing her pray to the devil. She could not say exactly it was the accused as she said it definitely held her shape and looked like her but all the same could not give 100 percent certainty. All in the community of Salem all agreed to witnessing these people of acting in bewitched ways on the accused, Martha Corey said they were poor distracted girls.

The Salem Witch Trials

However with there being spectators during this trial many observed several times that the afflicted seem to be affected by everything Martha did. So if Martha during examination bit her lip then the accusers would show signs of bite marks on their bodies showing the signs before the magistrates and ministers. If this accused pinched her fingers then yes indeed these girls would have pinch marks on their bodies too. It as also horribly observed that if Martha Corey the accused leaned her breast against the seat of which was a bar of where she was then the girls became afflicted, Mrs. Pope for example complained of terrible pain in her bowels explaining it felt like someone was tearing them out of her. Also an observation also concluded that if Martha unsettled her feet then the afflicted would start to stamp their feet in fear!

The afflicted persons went on to ask why Martha did not accompany that of her fellow witches that where mustering before the meeting house of where the trail took place? They strongly accused her of knowing the devil describing it as a black man whispering into her ear.

All in all Martha denied all such accusations even if the observations proved as different. She was later that afternoon sent to prison. She no longer went to these accuser and afflicted them since she was in custody!