In Salem Village in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Sarah
Goode, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba, an Indian slave from Barbados, are
charged with the illegal practice of witchcraft. Later that day, Tituba,
possibly under coercion, confessed to the crime, encouraging the
authorities to seek out more Salem witches.
Trouble in the small Puritan community began the month before, when
nine-year-old Elizabeth Parris and 11-year-old Abigail Williams, the
daughter and niece, respectively, of the Reverend Samuel Parris, began
experiencing fits and other mysterious maladies. A doctor concluded that
the children were suffering from the effects of witchcraft, and the
young girls corroborated the doctor's diagnosis. With encouragement from
a number of adults in the community, the girls, who were soon joined by
other "afflicted" Salem residents, accused a widening circle of local
residents of witchcraft, mostly middle-aged women but also several men
and even one four-year-old child. During the next few months, the
afflicted area residents incriminated more than 150 women and men from
Salem Village and the surrounding areas of Satanic practices.
1/ times have changed
2/ the world is not perfect today, but minds are more open
3/ and science is further along. Could it all have been the result of a fungus that caused hallucinations?
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