The Witch Judgements

by Julie M.


In Salem 25 lives were taken, over 100 people were imprisoned and all because of witchcraft. What is written here are the tests that were done on the accused, the tests that determined the lives of the accused. What is written here tells you how to identify a witch.

The Lord’s Prayer Test

     The Lord’s Prayer test is a test that the judges in our town of Salem use to know if an accused person is a witch or not. The judge or judges asks the accused to recite the Lord’s Prayer, hence the name The Lord’s Prayer test. If the accused is able to recite the Lord’s Prayer without mistake then the accused is innocent. This method is used because no witch can recite the prayer without stumbling on the words or skipping any of the words. Satan would never let any of his subjects recite the Lord’s Prayer fully. We are not the only ones who use this method of testing. It was also used in Europe during the time of the Inquisition.

Spectral Evidence

     Many people during the dreadful time of the Witch Hunt used spectral evidence to prove someone guilty of witchcraft. Spectral evidence is based on visions and dreams. The accuser claims to have a dream or a vision where they see the specter of the accused pinching and choking the afflicted people or, as in the horrible witch-hunt in

Salem, hurting the afflicted girls, or doing other odd things. This way of judging has now been made illegal, because the judges believe that many people were not truthful with their accusations.

Witch Cake

     One of the most unusual, but effective, ways of rooting out witches is the Witch cake. To make a Witch cake, use rye flour and the urine of the afflicted person/people. Then feed it to a dog. This will cause the witch pain, and she will cry out. The witch’s cry identifies her as a witch.

     What shall you do with the witch ones you have caught her you ask? Give her to the authorities. What will they do to her you ask? They will execute her after getting good evidence of her being a witch, evidence you will provide if you found a witch. Here is a little history of execution. Witches aren’t burned at the stake anymore; in this century witches are hung. The kind of hanging that the people of this century use is called the “short drop”. It is believed that this is a more humane way of execution then being burned at the stake. * The accused witch is forced to climb up a ladder under a limb of a tree, where the noose was tied. Then the noose is put around the neck of the witch, and the ladder is twisted or pulled from underneath the witch, and the witch falls a short way and dies of suffocation.


     One way that the judges try to torture the truth out of the accused is pressing. One man named Giles Corey was accused of being a witch. When he refused to say anything, not yes nor no, he was subjected to pressing. Pressing is when boards are placed on the accused, on the boards stones are placed one by one until the accused confesses or dies. Giles Corey died of pressing, he was crushed by the weight of the stones.

     Some of the ways there are to identify a witch may seem ridicules, but they are affective. The ways to execute people were less humane in Italy, Germany, and France, than here. Here the execution is more humane and that is wonderful. There are lots of different ways to identify witches, and these are the ways that this reading explains.

* (This message is for the people of the 2100s) The “short drop” was not a humane way of execution, in fact it was an excruciating way of death. The “witch” would die gradually, suffocating over a period of several minutes. 19 of the accused witches died in this way, a slow and agonizing death. After a few centuries a new way of execution was invented, the “long drop”. In this form of execution the condemned person would stand on a trap door, the noose hanging from the gallows above the person, the trap door then opens letting the victim quickly fall several feet, snapping the neck of the person. 

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