Essay on Salem Witch Trials and Honorable Puritan Worshiper

Submitted By stephane014
Words: 1780
Pages: 8

In Salem, Massachusetts, in the year 1692, twenty innocent people were killed for witchcraft; 14 of whom were women. Almost ten times that amount of people were accused of being involved in witchcraft, also referred to as “the Devil’s magic”. People believed that the Devil could give certain people, called witches, the power to hurt others in return for their loyalty. Families were torn apart. If you were different from a puritan in one simple way you were accused of being a witch, not only adults but children too. The recently friendly community of Salem became distrusted, disliked, and full of rumors.
The Puritan church controlled everything in Salem. Not going to church was against the law, but at church men and women were not allowed to sit by each other; in fact they had to sit on opposite sides of the church during the services. Everyone was expected to work to their abilities and not complain about it. If anyone was different it was frowned upon by the church. They had to dress a certain way and believed that all sins that were committed deserved to be punished. It did not matter whether you stole something or if you just slept in church. The church did not see the difference in the two sins.
If a neighbor lost money or became sickly they would not receive help from anyone because it was believed that God was punishing them. Everyone had to choose if they were going to be good or evil and faced the struggles between the two. (Salem Witch Trials) The Puritans thought that Satan chose people to carry out his work on Earth. He would choose the weakest individuals, such as women, children, and the insane. Those who followed Satan were called witches. Witchcraft was one of the biggest crimes a person could commit. It was so extreme that it was punishable by death. Children had the same rules to follow as adults. They were expected to do chores and attend church, and were not allowed to show their emotions, such as fear, anger, or happiness. It was unacceptable. If you owned toys, as a child, you never had a chance to play with them because they were considered to be sinful.
People were forbidden to even speak of witchcraft. That is why a group of young girls was so interested in a slave named Tituba. She would tell them magical stories, and tell them about their fortunes. This might be one of the reasons behind the strange behaviors that the girls started to show. The group of girls began to act ill and have wild symptoms. The symptom that happened most often was violent fits. Their bodies would bend in unnatural ways and in every direction. They would scream and be very vicious. It was so real to the eye of witnesses that it was impossible for people to even consider that they were pretending. A few of the other symptoms the girls had were temporary loss of hearing, speech, and sight. They even had loss of memory so most of the time the girls could not remember what had happened during their crazy fits. The church called in a physician to examine the girls, but there was no natural cause of their behavior. The community then reasoned that it was the work of Satan and that they had become “bewitched”, as some would say. The village had an outbreak of small pox and was being threatened of attack by native tribes; this convinced the people of Salem that Satan was involved. The village then began to pray, trying to rid themselves of the devil. The girls were pressured by the church to reveal who in the community controlled the girls’ behavior. That is when three women were accused. One of them was the slave Tituba, who confessed to seeing the devil. She also confessed that a cluster of witches flooded Salem. Around March of that year the girls accused an honorable Puritan worshiper named Martha Corey.
Martha Corey, who was new to the community, was nicknamed “Goodwife Corey.” Immediately after she was accused, a designated person was sent to the Corey farm to interview her. They were secretly hoping that