Puritans were NO FUN!

1692 – The Salem Witch Trials
*Belief in witches common in
Europe, of course a witch in water
will float but an innocent person
will sink…:S

Titchiba – The slave tells two 9 and
11 year old girls stories
• The girls tell others – 8 total ages 9 to 20
and they go to the slave to hear more.
• They know it is wrong to listen to such
tales.
• They begin to act out in church and public.
• The village doctor’s diagnosis is a spiritual
problem or witchcraft.
• The girls accuse Titchiba to be a witch.

The Magistrates are called
• Two other women are accused and
hanged:
– The town beggar woman who does not attend
church.
– The bedridden woman who is shunned by the
community for marrying her indentured
servant and who does not attend church.
– Both women deny the accusations and the
girls scream and act out in the court room
every time there is a denial.

Evidence
• To be a witch, there must be two or more
accusers (there are 8 girls).
• Hearsay is allowed, gossip and opinions
about the activities of the accused.
• Devil’s mark indicate guilt – scars,
birthmarks, discolorations, warts, injuries,
etc.
• Spectral evidence is allowed, only seen
and heard by the accused not anyone
else.

Titchiba confesses
Three Days of
Confessions:
• Flew on broom
• Tormented girls
• Signed the devil’s book
• A tall man showed her
nine names in the book,
the three on trial and six
others she could not
read.
• Fear and suspicions
began – who are the
other 6?

100 people arrested:
• Youngest 4 years old who
confessed to be in jail
with her mother.
• Minister who recited the
Lord’s prayer without
error before being
hanged.
• 55 confessed and were
pardoned to be judged by
God.

By 1693 over 200 accused as
witches and 24 were killed.
• Most were women, like Eve, women were
thought to attract evil.
• Nineteen hanged
• Four died in prison
• One would not confess or deny, so he was
“pressed” for the truth. Stones were placed
on his chest to press the truth from him; his
chest was crushed.
• Those who defended a person were accused.

Ten towns impacted.
• The girls became celebrities.
• For the first time girls were being given
attention and power.
• The land of the accused was confiscated
and auctioned off.
• In the beginning the “powerless” were
accused. Later more influential people
were accused.

Hysteria vs. reason and judgment
• Once members of “respected” families
were accused, spectral evidence was no
longer accepted.
• Courts no longer accepted hearsay.
• The accused were considered innocent
until proven guilty.
• The trials altered the ways justice was
issued.

Quiz Questions
• Paragraph – What changes did the Salem Witch Trials make
to our court system.




33.Puritan lifestyle promoted the fear in witches.
34.Spectral evidence is beyond question of its truth.
35.More men were hung as witches.
36.1692 was a time of hysteria in New York.
37.Our court system was altered because of the famous witch
trials.
• 38. There are thirteen colonies that belong to France and
England.
• 39. Colonists saw themselves as Englishmen.
• 40. Colonists did not govern themselves.