Salem Witch Trials Essay

Submitted By pat31197
Words: 640
Pages: 3

Witches and witchcraft did not originate from the Puritans in the 1600s, but from the Pagan times.1 They are mentioned multiple times in the Bible as a man or woman who had a “familiar spirit.”2 Of course, we see it well here in the Salem Witch Trials in 1692. The ways the Puritans conducted church contributes to the hysteria aids in the start of the trials. Throughout the trials, the worrisome feeling of being accused only feeds fire to the situation. Only until after the trials and the executions do people rest easy on their pillows. These were the circumstances in the Salem Witch Trials. The Puritans were people of a Protestant group in the 1500-1600s. They opposed the ideas of the Church of England like, religious icons, written prayers, pictures in churches, and instrumental music at services.3 King James I wanted them gone or for them to convert. Because of this, the Puritans sought out the new world and headed to Massachusetts, where they established their new colony. Puritans believed in a strict religion and that Sundays were holy days, and no work was to be conducted on those days. They believed that to communicate with Satan and sign his book, you would make God angry and it would expose the entire community the wrath of God and Satan's dangers.4 The lives of the Puritans were plain and orderly. Games, dancing, social gatherings, and physical recreation were all considered evil practices and frowned upon by the church.5 Anything done out of the ordinary, like humming, joining children in play, daydreaming, or hiking in the woods, was looked at as suspicious and you were further seen as different.6 These were the most innocent acts, yet when the trials start they could be seen as something as guilty as witchcraft. One possible story began in the winter of 1691-1692 with a slave, by the name of Tituba, in the household of Reverend Parris.7 Parris' daughter, Betty, and his niece, Abigail Williams, would listen to Tituba's stories of Barbados in the West Indies.8 These tales were believed to consist of Voodoo and black magic.9 The girls would eventually go out and reenact these stories and rituals, gathering others in the town, all women from ages twelve to twenty.10 This could be a possible truth in Salem, but what is definitely known is that there were two groups in Salem, Salem Village and Salem Town, that were against each other.11 Salem Village, mainly run by The Putnam family, wanted to separate from Salem Town, but people in Salem