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