THE SALEM WITCH TRIALS
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They once went hand in hand. Just as the Aztecs and Mayans performed certain rituals in order to insure a bountiful Harvest each year, so too did the American farmer.
There were Health rituals, Magic Sayings, and potions against aging and illness.
Magic was an accepted part of Life in America.
Before sexually frustrated Minister Cotton Mather was through, in September of 1692, Magic, Witchcraft and Sorcery became dirty words.
The Age of Reason bred MONSTERS.
The hysteria in Salem, Massachusetts began in the late winter of 1692.
But the history of the persecution of those said to have congress with "The Devil" began 300 years before in Europe, where tens of thousands, possibly HUNDREDS of thousands, of men women and CHILDREN were accused and put to death in various ways, from drownings to hangings.
The residents of Salem and many small towns in America were dealing with the crippling economic strain of WAR between France and England, "King William's War....."
And, just as it is now, Economic Strain causes one to mistrust their neighbors.
The ravaged areas of Upstate New York displaced many thousands of families, many of whom came to settle in Salem, Massachusetts and the surrounding states.
This, of course, placed tremendous strain on the cities in which the refugees came to settle. The rich, whom controlled all the Ports and industries of the area, were insulated from the changes. The poor had to cope the best that they could.
In 1689, Reverend Samuel Parrish became Salem's first ordained minister. A greedy, plotting and distrustful man, Parrish was not well liked among his parishioners.
One day, Parris' children began behaving very oddly. They were having fits and contorting themselves into strange positions. Foaming at the mouth. Speaking in strange tongues...
The children accused three village women of "Afflicting" them, Sarah Good, a Beggar, Tituba, a slave woman and Sarah Osbourne, an old, homeless woman.
The three were placed on trial, all professing their innocence. But as the trial wore on, day after day, inane trick question after inane trick question, Tituba began to crack up from the pressure. She confessed to EVERYTHING under intense interrogation, agreeing to all suggested to her.
She had been visited by a SATANIC
BLACK MAN who demanded she sign her name in his book. He was accompanied by red dogs, black cats and Hellfire.....And she swore that there were several other local names in his book...
SO began the Hysteria. 200 men and women were accused and arrested.
Minister Cotton Mather presided over the trials and wrote a famous book afterward.
19 men and women were convicted and Hanged, one elderly man was crushed to death by having rocks piled atop him until he was willing to confess, which he never did....
What is not widely known is that the Salem Colony admitted, after the hysteria was over, that the trials had been a MISTAKE, and paid a compensation to all of the families involved...
Witches of today invoke the names of Sarah Good, Rebecca Nurse, Tituba and Sarah Osbourne in their CEREMONIES, be they White Magic or Black...