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Salem Witch Trials

 
 
Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2004 02:13 pm
Hello everybody. My name is Brittany and I am researching the Salem Witch Trials and whether or not the witches were real or if they were just innocent women and men. If you can please give me information or your opinions. It will be really help full. Thanks! <3 Brittany
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Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 26,726 • Replies: 90
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Seed
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2004 02:17 pm
here are some links for ya...

http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/SALEM.HTM

http://www.salemwitchmuseum.com/

hope they help
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shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2004 02:29 pm
What is your defination of a real witch?

You said ---I am researching the Salem Witch Trials and whether or not the witches were real---

so in order for some of us( mainly me ) to help you, please define?
What do you mean by real? What is your image?

As for innocent people? Yes, there were many people who didnt practice witch craft who were burned, ripped apart, drowned, raped, shot etc.
Back then, to be a witch, all it took was someone to say they believed you passed a curse to them.. then you were a witch and if you DIDNT survive certain tortures you were considered 'innocent' then you recieved a prayer..
pretty sad I think.
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do not love me
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2004 02:36 pm
Well what i mean by "real witch" is someone who practiced witch craft or someone who casts spells on another person.

<3 Brittany

p.s. thank you for the websites they helped.
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Magus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2004 03:06 pm
A famous play, "The Crucible", deals with the issues involved... and would be valuable to your research.
(It has been made into a movie, which should be available on DVD.)
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Equus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2004 03:21 pm
I agree with Magus, read (or rent the movie) "The Crucible."

Most of those condemned were convicted on the evidence of several young girls who feigned pain and hysterics in court and claimed they were hexed by the accused.

At the Salem trials, no one who confessed to witchcraft was executed. Only those who denied being witches and were subsequently convicted were executed. All those executed were hanged, except one man who was pressed to death (had heavy stones laid on top of him).

Virtually everyone agrees that there are no such things as witches and that the Salem witches were innocent. The young girls who were the accusers were lying to achieve vengeance and mischief.

Although the area was considered part of Salem in the 1690's, most of the trials were conducted on land in what is now incorporated as Danvers, Massachusetts, adjacent to present Salem.
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Nov, 2004 08:26 am
Hello Brittany.

I do apologize, I know you wanted this information quicker but it took me a while to gather some information for you.

http://robotics.caltech.edu/~mason/Delusions/epd_witch.html

This is a web site that gives an idea of what it was like, what happened , and the supposed reasons behind the witch burnings.

Contrary to popular belief, the witch burnings went on for 2 hundred years. Some evidence points to it being longer.
Women were stripped by MEN publicly at times, humiliated...to see if they had the "mark of the witch"...what we refer to nowadays as a birthmark. Women were killed for having moles for Christs sake.
And yes...even some who confessed were killed.
Not all hanged....burned....drowned.......if they floated they were witches, if they couldnt swim and drowned "oops maybe we made a mistake" Those that drowned recieved a prayer " for thier souls".
Imagine what if today right here right now....you and your best friend or even sister (cause that happened too) liked the same boy? and.....she cried witch witch and 2 days later you were tortured.....All because someone cried " WITCH"

Most books on modern witchcraft will tell you that the word witch is derived from the word wicca, and that this used to mean either a) to bend or shape, or b) to know. From the latter we often hear that the term Witchcraft means craft of the wise ones. Both of the above meanings are poetic, but wrong!

According to Professor Russel, from the University of California, the ultimate origin of the word witch is an Indo-European word Weik. This word had four families of derivatives, and all had something to do with magic and religion. The most relevant of these derivatives is the word Wikk, which simply meant magic or sorcery. From this particular source came the Middle German word Widden - meaning to predict. Then came the Old English word Wicca, which was pronounced Witcha and was used to designate a male witch; and Wicce, which was pronounced Witcheh and was used to designate a female witch. From these words came the Middle English term Witche, and this word eventually became the Modern English equivalent... witch.


A witch was a religion at the time...it isnt now...more people have been killed in the name of religion through history than ANY other thing all added together .
Defination of holocaust:Generically, any great loss of human life or any almost total destruction,
Witch burnings.. holocaust. Jews suffered one too.. all in the name of a religion.

The real issue here is....WHAT a witch really is. A healer....Christianity didnt like women, ..well, women healed...so they must posses some sort of "power" to do this.....see where it started? Witches existed. Just not the kind we perceive now. The real ones...the ones that had the respect, the gift, the knowledge.
A healer .. at that time.. used herbs, and other basic household items to cure disease. ( Very basic answer , I know ) But after christianity took its hold in the new world. PRAYER was supposed to be the ultimate healer. People who continued to stand outside the christian norm to the church OBVIOUSLY had something wrong.. in thier minds.. why wouldnt people want to pray? Well.. herbs healed.. people wanted to be healed. So that idea was nipped in the bud. Burn em'.

Sounds horrible doesnt it? Dont believe it? I will quot the bible ..
Deutronomy 18: 10-11- (American standard version ) There shall not be found with thee any one...that useth divination, one that practiseth augury, or an enchanter, or a sorcerer, | or a charmer, or a consulter with a familiar spirit, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

Exodus 22:18 -"Thou shalt not suffer a sorceress to live." Put to death any woman who does evil magic.

now having said that, I will clarify that i am NOT ATTACKING christianity. I am just showng you where it started.


An approx total of over 2 million lives were taken due to the witch trials. And no..the majority of the murders during witch trials were in the UK.....the US did considerably less damage. But to think that this was an overnight occurance is not true. This was a significant slaughter in human history. If you take the population of the colonies..AND the UK.....do the math in years, come to the now....odds are....everyone arguing against this, had an ancestor burned or tortured. I personally know of 7 members of MY family ( Vosburgh ) who were alive during that time and have mysteriously dissappeared.. ?? Whos to say.. but most of the people / women condemned to the " witch burning" punishment mysteriously dissappeared while all thier belongings became property of the local churchs.

And by the way....as far as believing they werent witches, just "innocent men and women"....well, a witch is what? worthless? she/he is not innocent? what? isnt the real question "if they were witches should that matter? is it then OK to do what was done? no rights? a witch isnt a human being? sick. I hate it when history referrs to the witch burnings as .. nothing but a simple time in history >sigh<

Obviously this is a close subject to me. I have spent 4 years researching the witch trials and the more learn about it.. the more it sickens me.
I am giving you this information in hopes that when you do your report, you have an educated stance on the subject. That you are able to present facts. Because .. one thing that happens when people talk about witches.. you get pushed to the wayside an people start to take your information with a grain of salt. They imagine the cartoon witches with the green faces and warts and think " Well a witch kills so who cares"..
I personally dont have a green face, I have no warts and I dont kill. Smile

Good luck to you.
I do hope that I didnt offend. I do tend to get on my soap box alot. Please understand that I am not being rude, I just feel VERY strongly about this subject.
But I do have alot more info if you need it.

Blessed be,
the resident 'witch' . ....
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Nov, 2004 09:02 am
I have edited-and re-edited this post several times. I keep finding more information to pass on. So fogive me if it seems that it is changing.. hehe..
0 Replies
 
mm
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Nov, 2004 11:22 am
Salem Witch Trials..
Greetings.

There are several theories concerning this topic and the possible ingestion of a mold in the rye bread these people were eating which caused halucinations, etc. Interesting to research. If you go to the Google search engine and type in "salem witch trials + rye" you should be supplied with a number of links to these theories. Good luck!

MM
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Nov, 2004 12:54 pm
>bump<
0 Replies
 
Odd Socks
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Nov, 2004 08:35 pm
shewolfnm wrote:


And by the way....as far as believing they werent witches, just "innocent men and women"....well, a witch is what? worthless? she/he is not innocent? what? isnt the real question "if they were witches should that matter? is it then OK to do what was done? no rights? a witch isnt a human being? sick. I hate it when history referrs to the witch burnings as .. nothing but a simple time in history >sigh<

....


I think the question of how many of the accused witches were practising wicca or another supernatural practice is historically interesting, although nobody deserves to be burnt either for their beliefs or differences. A lot of the people who were accused of being witches just looked or acted differently enough to arouse suspicion, or were falsely accused by people who didn't like them. SOme of the people who were burnt may have been Wiccans, but a hell of a lot weren't ( at least in Europe).


Although it's very interesting, I don't know how useful and historically accurate the play "the Crucible" is , and wouldn't use it unless you had a second project involving McCarthyism.
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Magus
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Nov, 2004 10:07 pm
The name of the grain contaminant- "ergot".
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Odd Socks
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Nov, 2004 11:49 pm
Yes, I saw that on an episode of the X files.
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Magus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Nov, 2004 01:55 am
Gee, "Socks", your continual classical references never cease to amaze me.
I stand in awe of your erudition.
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smog
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Nov, 2004 01:58 am
I've studied Puritan society pretty extensively, but I'm tired right now, so I'm bookmarking this thread for later.
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Nov, 2004 10:27 am
Odd Socks wrote:


I think the question of how many of the accused witches were practising wicca or another supernatural practice is historically interesting, although nobody deserves to be burnt either for their beliefs or differences. A lot of the people who were accused of being witches just looked or acted differently enough to arouse suspicion, or were falsely accused by people who didn't like them. SOme of the people who were burnt may have been Wiccans, but a hell of a lot weren't ( at least in Europe).


Although it's very interesting, I don't know how useful and historically accurate the play "the Crucible" is , and wouldn't use it unless you had a second project involving McCarthyism.



Very true. And quite sad. I read alot about the people who 'cried witch' and about thier symptoms. Sounds like Schitzophrenia, brain tumors, Bi-polar disorder, certin blood diseases, and alot of other things that are still present in modern day society.
Then they didnt have reasons for these diseases and disorders, and SURE didnt have a way to diagnose BEFORE accusing, Many of the women were christian themselves that were hung, burned, drowned etc.

The flip side of the coin..
How many were still practicing the old ways? Well.. in general.. most people TODAY are still practicing the old ways. Not saying everyone is a witch.. but some of the things that made people guilty of BEING witchs then are still in our society today. So yeh, how many were " guilty" ??? Probally a small few. Then again maybe not.
Like I have stated if things like ' healing' went on outside of the church, and with out the influence of the church, it was seen as witch craft. Giving someone an infusion of simple herbs to cure a headache... would have been considered witchcraft .The person who made the infusion could have been convicted if the recipient wasnt healed from the headache and was angry about it.
I would be interested as well to find out the numbers.
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Odd Socks
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Nov, 2004 09:05 pm
Magus wrote:
Gee, "Socks", your continual classical references never cease to amaze me.
I stand in awe of your erudition.



Yes, and science fiction movies are so scientifically accurate as well Wink, all my education comes from "Fox" . I have also read about ergot ( alkaloid?) causing hallucinations in a number of more literary and scientific journals. I just thought bringing up the "X Files" would be cool, because that used to be such a good show and pretending that it was a viable sourceof information it would bring some levity to this discussion. Even if nobody else found it funny or warped (sob) .


Magus, don't be such a snob. Itonly makes you look like a fool, especially after you discuss "The Crucible" like it' represents the Salem witch trials accurately. If you are going to fool, at least be a fool intentionally, like me. YOu have so much more control over the outcome if you do it that way.

Razz Razz Razz
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Nov, 2004 09:32 pm
while the image of witchcraft is interesting (not really) I would like to note that "the crucile" by Miller was actually about the McCarty "witch hunts of the 1950's) rather than an dramatization of the salem ordeals. Perhaps a witch and a fifth of damn good bourbon is what I would like to do on a snowy sat night in front a roaring fireplece.
0 Replies
 
katealaurel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Nov, 2004 09:37 pm
The ergot theory is pretty widely accepted..

Another possible explanation we talked about briefly in one of my classes deals with social ascension. (Beware, I may get some of these facts wrong offhand, since I don't have the information right here, but the general idea should be right..) If you examine a map of Salem from that time period, and mark where the accusers' and accuseds' houses were, there is a definite pattern. I don't remember which set (I'm inclined to say the accusers) lived at the outskirts of town, but it's been wondered whether the accusations were meant either a) to discredit the older families of the town and thus gain social status, or b) to redistribute the better agricultural land. These strike me as pretty reasonable explanations, considering the things people do nowadays for money and status.

As a side note, one of my ancestors was one of the dead in the Salem Witch Trials- Hannah Basset, I think?

-Kate
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Nov, 2004 09:40 pm
just my curiosity but how many of the accused witches were so accusted by their own husbands? perhaps a simple divorce would have suficed?
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