The Salem Journal:  The Hysteria

Witches' Remise

The Hysteria Begins

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In 1692, Betty Parris and Abigail Williams created a massive hysteria that would cause many innocent people to be accused and executed.Continue reading

How the Hysteria Began

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When nine-year-old Elizabeth Parris began acting strangely in late August 1691 her father, Reverend Samuel Parris, first believed she was the victim of physical ailment. Reverend Parris got the help of many doctors, but Dr. William Greggs said that Elizabeth's illness was the work of witches. Soon, however, Reverend Parris determined that Elizabeth and the rapidly growing list of "afflicted girls" were victims of a more sinister agent, the devil. By February 1692 what began as an isolated incident in the minister's household grew into the infamous Salem Witch Trials, with Samuel Parris at the center of the controversy. However, the belief of witches did not start when Samuel Parris arrived. It had had been going on for generations. People had always been superstitious. Continue reading

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

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In the years 1692 to 1693 in Salem, Massachusetts, families were ripped apart, enemies were made, and over 150 innocent men, women, and children were accused of witchcraft.Continue reading

Trust: The Question That is Sending Salem Into Turmoil

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As the community tumbles into the darkness of chaos and the devil, people are finding themselves asking questions. Some questions are un-answerable, others obvious. But there is one question that has come up for every person in Salem -- the question of trust.Continue reading

Puritans Face Defeat

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Although the Indian Wars may not seem like they affected the Salem Witch Trials at first, the Indian Wars, which began around 1622 and raged on and off into the eighteenth century had a large impact on the outcome of the Salem Witch Trials. In 1692, teenage girls were suddenly barking like dogs and dancing in the woods. The only possible explanation was that the girls had been bewitched, and the devil had come to Salem. No one really knows why the girls actually started behaving oddly, and many things might explain it. For example, there was a smallpox epidemic in Salem that year, and the winter that year was much worse than usual. The wars with the Indians were also taking place, only 70 miles away from Salem. The main thing on everyone's mind was violent death. Fear spread and created hysteria.Continue reading

Witches are Everywhere

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Witches are very peculiar; they sometimes blend in to the normal crowd. But The Salem Journal has investigated, and studied court procedures.Continue reading

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