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Megan Crawford Pd 9 Honors English May 16 2000 The Salem Witch Trials From June through September of 1692 nineteen men and women all having been convicted of witchcraft were taken to Gallows Hill for hanging Another man of over eighty years was pressed to death under heavy stones for refusing to submit to a trial on witchcraft charges Hundreds of others faced accusations of witchcraft Dozens wasted away in jail for months without trials Then almost as soon as it had started the craze that had swept Puritan Massachusetts ended In 1688 John Putnam one of the most influential elders of Salem Village invited Samuel Parris to preach in the Village church A year later Parris accepted the job as Village minister He moved to Salem Village with his wife Elizabeth his six-year old daughter Betty niece Abagail Williams and slave Tituba a West African native that Parris had acquired in Barbados Sometime during February of 1692 young Betty Parris became strangely ill She ran about dove under furniture screamed in pain and complained of fever The cause was unknown but talk of witchcraft soon erupted Talk increased when several of Bettys friends including eleven-year-old Ann Putnam seventeen-year-old Mercy Lewis and Mary Walcott began to show signs of similar behavior William Griggs a doctor called to examine the girls suggested that the girls problems might have a supernatural origin when he failed to find a cure The widespread belief that witches target children made the doctors diagnosis seem more likely A neighbor Mary Sibley proposed a form of countermagic She told Tituba to bake a rye cake with the urine of the afflicted victim and feed the cake to a dog Dogs were used by witches as agents to carry out their devilish commands Suspicion had already begun to focus on Tituba who had been known to tell the girls tales of voodoo and witchcraft Her participation in the urine cake episode made her
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