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Salem Witchtrials


            There was a period during the late 1600's where many men, women and even two dogs who were killed for being accused of practicing witchcraft. These women and men began acting very peculiar and were afflicted with a witch's supernatural curse, which later was presumed as being true.
             In late February after a few weeks of this strange behavior the afflicted were asked to name their tormentors and they did name three local women, Tituba, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborn. Tituba did declare that she was a witch and soon after he confessions the other girls began to show signs of being witches also. Many people began to confess of being possessed by witchcraft and were put in jail, which eventually lead to the jails be at maximum capacity. Sarah Goods four year old daughter was the first child to be convicted of witchcraft and was put in jail for eight months.
             Governor Phillips returned from England and shortly after created a new court where the witch trials would take place. In this court the judges allowed what was called the "touch test" and examinations of the bodies to look for "witch marks". In this new courts such evidence would be excluded such as hearsay and gossip. Bridget Bishop was the first to be convicted and sentenced to death by hanging at Gallows Hill. During Bridget's trial there was testament that she was seen transforming into a cat. Two other witches also stated during the trial that Bridgett was one of them. There were many other testimony's, all of which helped Judge Stoughton to make is decision of sentencing Bridgett to death.
             There were a total of nineteen hangings at Gallows Hill. Things changed a little with the convicted Giles Corey who had spent 5 months in jail. Giles refused to stand trial and for this action was the penalty of being stoned to death.
             By the end of the year 1692 there began to be doubts as to the convictions of so many people. Increase Mather wrote "Cases of Conscience" which argued that "were better that ten suspected witches should escape than one innocent person should be condemned.


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