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Salem Witch Trials

A witch or hag is she which being [d]eluded by a league made with the devil through his persuasion, inspiration and juggling, thinketh she can design what matter of evil things soever, either by thought or imprecation, as to shake the air with lightnings and thunder, to cause hail and tempests, to remove green corn and trees to another place, to be carried of her familiar (which hath taken upon him a deceitful shape of a goat, swine, calf, etc) into some mountain far distant, in a wonderful short space of time, and sometimes to fly upon a staff or fork, or some other instrument, and to spend all the night after with her sweetheart, in playing, sporting, banqueting, dancing, dalliance, and divers other devilish lusts and lewd disports, and to show a thousand such monstrous mockeries" 'The Kinds of Witches' รป William West, Simboleography (London, 1594), quoted in The Burning Times.

The Salem Witch Trials are probably one of the most infamous events in early American history. The truth behind the events of 1692 and 1693 are quite different from the accounts sanitized and exploited for Hollywood dollars. This paper will discuss the history of the witch trials; provide documented information regarding the survivors of the accused and present how the town capitalizes on these events. This paper will conclude with critical analysis of this capitalization.

To begin to understand the witch trials, one must first examine the controlling factors in place in 1692 Salem. Christopher Columbus had only discovered America a short 200 years previous. Early within the 1600's, many Puritans began leaving Europe for the American colonies. They settled mainly within the New England region, but were also spread through the entire area north of Virginia. The desired goal of the Puritan immigrants was to create a religious-based community with their "pure" ideals centering control. Their radical beliefs were able to flourish in this New World....

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Salem Witch Trials. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 05:13, May 31, 2020, from