Essay Salem Witch Trial

Submitted By ashben
Words: 845
Pages: 4

Salem Witch Trials
November 1st, 2012

Spring of 1692 was the only the beginning of the Salem Witch Trials when over 100 people were accused of using witchcraft. This took place in Salem Massachusetts during a time when the devil was strongly believed in. The minister of Salem Village throughout this time was Samuel Parris. His nine year old daughter Betty and his niece, 11 year old Abigail Williams accused their slave Tituba and friend Sarah Good of use of witchcraft after they became “ill”. The girl’s signs of fits and outbursts were spreading quickly and had them questioned about who could have been afflicting them. Since Betty and Abigail claimed they were bewitched, trials slowly overwhelmed the local justice system. Charges were eventually made that caused nineteen deaths of innocent people.

Abigail and her cousin Betty started showing abnormal signs of illness in early January. Minister Parris first called Reverend Hale he said that the two girls "were bitten and pinched by invisible agents; their arms, necks and backs turned this way and that way and returned back again so as it was impossible for them to do of themselves and beyond the power of any Epileptic Fits or natural disease to effects." As the weirdness of Betty and Abigail still continued, they called Doctor William Griggs who examined them and was determined that the girls were under the influence of an "Evil Hand.” The talk of witchcraft was quickly spreading throughout the Salem village.

We know very little information on Abigail’s personal life. There are no known records about her parents and where she was born. Abigail regularly wore a white bonnet on top of her head to slightly cover her short brown hair. Her pale smooth skin was completely covered by her lengthy tan dress, which always had a white apron to cover it. Abigail seemed to have no worries or fear when it came to accusing others. She was outspoken, persuasive and extremely confident in herself.

There is no doubt that Abigail is a villain and manipulating her entire town into the belief of witchcraft. She always wants her own way and finds out how to get it, no matter who she hurts. John Proctor and Abigail had an extremely secretive and dangerous relationship. Their affair began when Abigail started working for John Proctor and his wife Elizabeth as their household servant. Elizabeth somehow found out about the affair and instantly fired Abigail. She then went after the Proctors punishing them for what they did and accused them also of witchcraft. As a young girl Abigail seemed to love the attention and power she was receiving from the trials. The town was becoming feared and worried to cross paths with Abigail incase she would start to accuse them as well.

Abigail made 41 legal complaints and also gave a formal testimony in seven cases and 17 capital cases. One of the many case trials was about Rebecca Nurse. Abigail said that Rebecca Nurse tried to choke, pinch and convince her into a fire. Nurse was also accused of attending the devils sacrament and trying to force Abigail into signing the devil’s book. All of the blames during this time were quite important to remember. The testimony of minors and unmarried women had no legal standing in a court room making it