Day 11 of the 31 Days of Halloween and a Sad Scary Piece of History

As a child I always heard of the Salem witch hunts and it sparked a tingle of fear and a lot of no way am I reading about that!  I saw a project for the AALandCreate  #17Challenge that made me think of this fear I had of exploring what really happened and going through my vintage images from the British Library sparked a project.  I then researched what happened.  Young girls, quiet possibly reacting to ergot,  a toxic substance in their diet found in wheat and rye, that was enough in smaller bodies to cause disturbing side effects, blamed a woman slave of hexing them and a homeless beggar woman and an elderly woman of bewitching them.  The woman scared for her life confessed falsely confessed but in an attempt to save her life said many other witches lived among them in the village.  From there it was literally a witch hunt with many of those accused falsely blaming others to save their own lives. Many other young girls began having the same symptoms and after the first two being diagnosed by the doctor of "bewitchment".  A special court condemned 19 women to death at the Salem Gallows with over 150 men and women even a child being accused and many imprisoned falsely.  Seven of those women died in prison while the husband of one woman was pressed  to death by stones because he would not enter a plea in the court.

  A revered minister Cotton Mather warned as all this was going on that it was better to let ten witches live than to kill one innocent person.  The law was passed down eventually saying "spectral evidence" could not be entered in the court with the court finally being shut down. One of the judges who had condemned these poor women and men later called for a day of Fast for the awful trials and apologized for his part in the tragedy.  The courts of the colony ruled the whole special court to be unlawful and eventually all in prison were released and in 1711 restitution was paid to the families of those hung.  Too little too late, wasn't it?  This all had started in January, 1692, and brought out an ugliness in humanity that was immersed in a fear based society. 

No, none of the above is original to me but a poem or story could not be more terrifying than how those accused felt.  The image below that I mentioned made me think how they must have cried with rage in their souls as they were accused and taken to be hung or to languish in prison away from their families.  So I leave the Salem Witch Trials with this image and a prayer that a fear based future for any generations to come never exists as many after this event have and had horrible results.




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Comments

  1. Definitely a sad scary piece of history!

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  2. Due to the very short term memory of our species this post is poignantly relevant today. Let's hope. There is always hope. Hugz

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  3. Very sad piece of history indeed.... great image to go along with your post.

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  4. I guess we never learn from out mistakes. People
    are still being accused of things that they haven't done,
    evidence "proving" they did is presented, and off they
    go to prison or the gas chamber. thanks for sharing.

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  5. A powerful image and a powerful history lesson, Nan.
    Bonnie (LeighSBDesigns DT)

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  6. Fantastic post today! Thanks for sharing!

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