Before the first day of History of Witchcraft I started thinking about this class. What am I getting into? I am very interested in the thought of witchcraft, and what if it is real. Wouldn't that be great if everyone knew someone with the ability to preform magic. When I told people I was taking this course there was skepticism, but a lot of positive feed back also. The number one question was, "Will you actually learn spells and how to become a witch?" I even have doubts and some skepticism of is it real or coincidence.
The Witchcraft Sourcebook by Levack, to my surprise has not given us a book that doesn't keep you wanting more. I thought it was going to be very dry and textbook. Everytime I pick it up I find something new and interesting.
I had never really considered magic going as far back as ancient times. "One of the forms of magic that had a long association with witchcraft, not only in ancient time but during the Middle ages and the early modern period, was love magic," (Levack).
Like with any bit of History the History of magic would have to start form the beginning. Nothing today is not something that hasn't been experienced before, we just see it from a different perspective.
How to determine if you are a witch or not? I have wondered. I had a friend Sally that claimed she was a witch. At the time I thought it was the best thing ever. I didn't really think about what that meant I did want proof. later on I had another friend that claimed he was Wicca.
A witch’s profile. If this was all it took there would be a lot more witches on the loose than anyone would care to admit.
Female: If you’re a witch it is not about how you look physically we just get images in our heads because of the status that most witches are.
Most witches are past the menstrual stage. That is why they are depicted as needing children.
Most are not married, at least widowed. It’s not her fault there is no such thing as prince charming. In some cases he just had to go.
Most are poor so their economic state reflects on their physical state.
Most are outspoken. Help yourself here it goes to the above.
Men: This profile is just unfair. But since the beginning women are evil that is why 75% are accused in Europe and 85% are accused in the United States
Wizards are accused on a short list, unlike witches.
Related to an accused female. How is this fair?
Causing Mass Panic. Outbreak of killings
Witchcraft for men would be ruining crops.
Occupations that are considered of wizards. Farming, being able to provide for yourself and others that is dangerous. Shepard's keeping watch and protection is risky business. Minister, because apparently a higher spirit communicates with you, you must be trouble.
Males are less likely to flee, so they are less likely accused.
Based on the profile for a female could Sally have been a witch? I will let you decide. We did practice Voodoo and this is the outcome.
In high school I had a friend who was convinced she was a witch call her Sally. I am not saying I believe what happened, but one night I gave into voodoo. There was a girl in our group that I just stopped wanting to be around, call her Bay. One of those I believe I am perfect type of girls. Sally and I took some pictures and ripped them up and burned them. As we were burning them Sally chanted. After that night I did notice a strain in the way Bay was around me. Do I believe the spell worked, I am not sure there may just have been a strain in the relationship coming anyway.
If I really wanted to know if Sally was a witch maybe I should have tested her. But these methods seem so morbid the water test, or burning I couldn't do them to my friend. The tests today are just IQ tests, that won't tell me much.
Sally was not my first encounter of witchcraft. My friend Larissa claimed to have done some spells when we were younger. She told me I couldn't touch any floor until we put salt around the bed she said the floor was cursed. We had to get creative on how to get from the bedroom to the kitchen for salt.
I have had encounters of is witchcraft real or is it fake? I am still undecided. The more I read of Levack is making me think deeper into the idea. My mind is more open to the fact that things can happen but I am still not fully convinced that it is not just coincidence.
Spain and Scandaniva
Witchcraft as a religion has been practiced over time by people in many regions around the world. People look for signs and symbols of witchcraft Every region it of course has its similarities but also has many differences. At this time, we are going to focus on Spain and Scandinavia.
Starting with Spain we start in 1478 with Pope Sixtus wanting to rid Spain of people of the Muslim and Jewish faith. At the end of his reign he started getting soft on how to punish the accused and Pope Innocent came in with a harsher and severe means of torture.
The Inquisition involved the royal family, people of the church and men and women throughout Spain. At this time the Royal family was no other than Isabel and Ferdinand. The church included the pope who called the shots on how to deal with these people.
The Royal family in Spain at this time was Isabel and Ferdinand. In 1483 they gave the pope the authority to appoint the Grand Inquisitor Torquemada. These authorities were given rights to accuse and torture
The profile for men of Spain accused is:
Misuse of lethargic prayers: saying prayers over illness with intent to bring about harm.
Masculine magic: Wise men using scientific knowledge from Astrology, Kabala, or SO Tarot Books.
Men looking for treasures hidden by Muslims and Jews. This is like looking for something from the devil because these items are not Christian items.
The profile for women of Spain is:
The typical age 25-37. This was younger than that of other regions These women have not likely hit menopause and still have a chance to find a man that desires them. .
Surplus of Women. During the inquisition there is a war about so there are not enough men to go around for all of these young beautiful women.
Economic. These women are in financial binds and can’t survive on their own.
Women were most known for practicing Love Magic: Seduction of a suitor or husband to make him love you.
In Spain the Fuego was the day where all the accused of witchcraft were paraded through the city to their death. These people wore tunics known as sanbenitos. Once they got to 13 ft stakes the accused were given one more chance to confess. If a confession was made the tunics were turned, then the accused was strangled then burned. If they were a smart ass their faces were synged and the burning began.
People were given ample opportunity to confess their sins. If they did not the people would be tortured. Surprisingly there were rules for torture. The session could only last 1 hour.
Oh, but the things that could happen in this hour. From pulling out of nails, breaking of bones. The would put the accused on racks and bend their bodies into ungodly positions tearing them apart and breaking bones. There was also the use of fire to singe. Flogging was a minor punishment I think other than the racks the whips dipped in tar would be the way to get my confession.
If the accused passed out they would stop bring in a Doctor to make sure they were not faking. If they were they would continue the torture otherwise they would stop and the person would still have to carry out sentence. If there was confession during this the torture would stop and they would later be asked to repeat the confession as they had said during the torture session.
Scandinavia is a different world from other regions. Pre Christianity the role of witches was common in this region. Actually the way that it sounds they are actually given more free will the what Christians are given. Scandinavians make witchcraft seem alluring and even in the modern times witches are symbols of Easter.
The region of Scandinavia is made up of Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden. If these countries weren’t put together the accused of witchcraft would not be relevant. Only 5,000 were accused! Of that 5,000 only 1,700-2,000 were killed. This was the same as England but because their population is less this ended up being 40% of their population.
Torture was different here it wasn’t common until the Christians came into these countries. It was not as intense as Spain. At most they were exiled, or fined, the ones that received death were burned.
Magic is known as Trolldomir. Unlike other regions both men and women practice equally. For these people it is more about spoken magic. Once something is said it can’t be taken back. Since men are head of the house more men are accused than women. Women are found out if something big happens and it causes mass panic, and has been done in secret so it is worse.
Luck: it can be seen as good or bad, if it is bad they see it as coincidence more or less it is not that BAD!
Love: arouse and stifle similar to love magic.
Divination: Don’t use it to change destiny and there is no harm. It could be harmful to look into the future I guess but I don’t think it is as bad as Christians make it out to be.
Fylgjur: this is pretty cool to have a guardian that is an animal. If you think about it this is common in other cultures. The type of animal reflects qualities of its owner. I would get no fylgjur I don’t feel I possess these qualities.
Bear = strength
Eagle= social position
Wolf= evil mind
Shape shifting: this might be a little too out there for my beliefs. For the soul to leave the body and go to deliver messages and to strengthen a loved one.
When it came to the accused common ways they were found out was by the Devil’s mark. In 1675-76 if this mark was found upon a person it was pinned. If it didn’t bleed and the person didn’t feel anything they were accused.
Trials, Torture, and Spells Oh My!
• As our brooms swoop down into Russia, we explore the witchcraft that has been brought to life. Witches were known as Vedma and, warlocks were known as Vedun. Witchcraft was known as koldovstvo or chardeistvo, and the maleficarum in Russia is known as porcha. Porcha can be fall into multiple categories such as taking a life; maming; causing illness (putting grave dirt into someone’s drink; making someone crazy; crop failure; impetince, taking a piece of wood urinate put under a staircase to of a new groom causing impetente. The type of porcha practiced is spell casting, dream interpretation, weather manipulation, fortune telling and herbal medicine. Both men and women practiced and were accused. More men than women were actually accused in Russia. Some unique cases in Russia are: ONLY one Satan case in 1563; more men then woman accused, no children accused or made acquisitions; no patterns to the acquisitions; no large scale acquisitions; the only break outs happen around social stress.
A case in 1657 on St. Nicholas Day was brought by the husband of Irinitsa against Terentei. "He cast a shrieking cruse on her, motivated by some unknown grudge or scheme, (Levack 214). During his interrogation in the torture chamber he did not incriminate himself and said nothing. Other cases in 1657 were also in regards to bewitchment had broken out in Lukah afflicting the wives of towns people. “The case proved to be too difficult for the local governor to handle, so a special investigator, Ivan Romanchiukov, was dispatched to conduct the investigation. He sent a report on the situation in Moscow, explaining all the steps he had taken, and then appended and transcripts of the interrogation on the suspects,” (Levack 215).
To have a trial in Russia it must be presented to the Voevoda (military governor), and a Ogovor (torturer). The ways to initiate a trial are Apprehend criminal in act; Inquest by individual; Torture to pull out confession of the accused. In Russian trials no spectral evidence is legitimate.
Like the other regions we have visited most torture is the same. Swimming the witch, burning, and knouting. Knouting is the most common form of torture one session is 30-40 minutes of lashing. These sessions can be repeated up to 4 times to try to reach a confession. While the accused is being tortured they are being questioned. These questions can range from, Who did you learn from?; How did you get your material?; How many victims, and who are they?
Let's hop back on our brooms and take a journey to Italy. Italy is unique because Catholicism is the home base, and they are not as worried about heresy. Not many cases go to trial here because there are not enough judges, and other cases are more important than witch hunts. Tuscan witches have left behind a great number of spells.
Types of magic used in Italy are similar to others with just slight differences. Divination, Malfico, Love magic: casting on beans or knotting cord, or abuse of holy oil on the lips, or Incanation of stars.
In the 1550’s over 100 trails had no defendant that was guilty of malficico. if that was the case the holy office would find something else to charge them with. It wasn’t just if death happened. The Manual for witchcraft is Directorium Inquisitorum written in 14th century rewritten 16th century. The only way you can say it is heresy had to include both worship of devil and abuse of sacraments. If you can’t clearly show no evidence.
Supernatural illness (stegheria) vs. Natural Illness. If you get sick why are you sick natural or super natural cause? The holy office can only find that it malifico is a crime if it can be proved supernatural illness. Only a doctor can officially say if it was Stregheria or natural. Stregheria is so hard to classify. Doctors do not want to claim it is Stregheria, because that would mean they might be the ones participating in witchcraft. For a doctor's protection of reputation's they would call it a natural illness.
Like witches there are good and bad spells. To cast you need the right ingredients and the right voice. The records of spells from Tuscan witches that we have were used for evil. These spells were done out of jealousy, with intentions to injure or kill one’s enemy.
To injure an enemy: To make a man or a woman suffer, take a peppercorn and an [illegible], such as found in the fields, and boil it with the hair of the man or man and repeat:-- “I do not boil in the hair alone, but all these things together thrown, With his heart and soul that he, May perish and forever be, Only in witches' company.” (Godfrey Pt.2 Ch4)
To prevent a Woman to find happiness and marriage on the wedding day take an orange flower and put it into salt, pepper, cumin, with sconcordia, and attach this to the bride's back saying:
"Be thou accursed! Mayst thou never know. A single day of Peace! And even when thou dost go. To kneel before the alter, Mayst thou forsaken, And bitterly regret, The step which thou hast taken!" (Godfrey Pt.2 Ch.4 )
This is where we land the broom till next time be prepared for another exciting adventure.
England, Scotland, and Ireland
Oh, hello. I am glad your broom landed here with me in England. While we are here together we can also talk about our neighbors over in Scotland and in Ireland. And maybe while you are here, we can also buy the newest and latest Nimbus 17 (the latest and greatest in flying broomsticks). I know, I definitely need an upgrade. Okay, enough about our mode of transportation, right now we are here to take an interesting trip back in time to a panic that occurred hundreds of years ago.
In 1542 there was a panic, one that was brought about by witchcraft. This is an interesting place to begin talking about witchcraft. It was a time when laws about such practices were being put in place. “The last witchcraft trial in England has taken place in 1717, almost 20 years before the act of repeal, while the last Scottish prosecution had occurred in 1727,” (Levack 171).
How were witches identified in England at this time? It’s not like they were in a school or in a town where normal folk have direct access to or, maybe they were?
Five hundred years ago, to accuse someone of witchcraft, one must bring evidence before a magistrate. It was as if it were a secret crime. SHH! The accuser must have not one, but two eyewitnesses. Then there would be a background investigation of the accused’s character. His family, including children, could testify for or against him. And there would have to be sufficient proof for conviction. It could be any one of the following:
A. Notorious reputation for being a witch. Which everyone wants that hanging over them. (Not)
B. Cursing followed by injury to victim. Neighbor, “Bob broke his leg cause of that spell.”
C. Malice to person or object.
D. Blood relationship to a witch. “Aunt Sally, now I am a witch gee, thanks.”
E. Successful counter magic. OPPS!
F. Confession, “Fine, I did it”
G. Diligent interest in a sick neighbor. Don’t care too much!
H. Unnatural marks on the body. Poke that didn’t bleed. “Did you feel it?” “No!” “You must be a witch.”
I. Two witnesses saw a pact with a devil or enticing familiars. Your neighbors see the way you feed and take care of your kitten and it is not how most people treat their pets.
Oh, England, and your mild witchcraft. Only 5,000 trials and somewhere around 2,000 witches executed, according to the very few records accessed.
These British witches dined with the devil. They also made poppets, a tradition that is still used to inflict pain upon one’s enemy. A doll is used to represent someone who is cursed. It is stabbed, burned, or drowned. In turn, the one who has been cursed feels what is happening to the doll.
Here’s a fun fact. Not only was Henry VIII, an “asshole”, to put it nicely, he was the first ruler in England to decree a law against witchcraft and conjuration. In 1542 his ruling was that witchcraft is a crime if used for love, magic, or hunting treasure. If someone was found guilty of witchcraft, and it was a first offense, they received 1 year in prison and one trip to the pillory.
That doesn’t sound so bad, right? Well, let’s hope no one brings dead animal or feces, stones, or other blunt objects to you while you’re in prison. They tended to do that.
As if being in prison and humiliated with dead animals and having feces thrown at you wasn’t quite enough, a second offense sent the accused to prison for life and he have all his property taken away. But hey, what can a guy/gal do with property when locked up?
In 1563, Queen Elizabeth I took reign. Under her rule, the first time offense was 1 year of prison time, 4 times at the pillory. The second offense was death.
In Scotland, in 1563 Queen Mary had a different view on witches. In England there was no burning, however Mary liked the thought of burning, because to her witchcraft was considered heresy.
In 1604, King James I who ruled both England and Scotland ironically at the same time had another statute for witches. Under his rule the first offense was death. His punishment for witchcraft was morbid you can’t use dead bodies out of graves.
“An act to repeal the statute made in the First year of the reign of King James the first, entitled an act against conjuration, witchcraft and dealing with evil and wicked spirits, except so much thereof as repeals an act of the fifth year of reign of queen Elizabeth, Against conjurations, enchantments and witchcrafts, and to repeal in act passed in the parliament of Scotland in the ninth parliament of Queen Mary entitled Anentis witchcrafts and for punishing such persons as pretend to exercise or use any kind of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment, or conjuration,” (Levack 171).
And Ireland, how can anyone forget Ireland? They are slightly different. In 1586 the statute was that witchcraft was a crime. There were however, very few trials. The Irish believed highly in mischievous fairies. This meant that witchcraft was easily undone. The low level courts had more to be concerned with than witchcraft.
Now that we know what was going on with witchcraft in the British Isles in the mid-1500’s, we can begin to think about what adventure we can go on next week.
Bye Bye Europe Hello New World
Hey you guys, so excited you decided to join me on this journey. We are going to leave Europe and head across the pond, but how should we get there this time. It’s a long flight and brooms aren’t meant for that kind of travel. How about we use floo powder.
For a group of people moving for religious purposes and a few other reasons, they had a perfect destination. An uncivilized land occupied by savages. Savages are believed to be the true followers of the devil. It’s ironic they make this choice but these people leaving the old world to go to the new world to spread their religious beliefs, like a virus. The first wave were the Pilgrims starting in 1607 and the second wave of religious migrators were the Puritans in 1620.
Let’s visit Virginia first and see what is happening when the Europeans first arrive. Before they come over the Spanish had reported what they were experiencing from the Tupi Indians in Brazil were being tormented by the devil which must have meant he had a power over them to control their savage ways.
According to Theodo de Bry, “Devils are present where barbarians exist.” Our friend John Smith had even claimed that Powhattan himself was a devil. In 1613 William Crashaw “Satan reigns in Virginia more than any other place in the world.” Indians were described as black men. (Lecture)
With Virginia being the first settled land by the Pilgrims, the settlements were not like they were when the Puritans come along. The Ratio of women to men is 1:6. This was not in men’s favor, but the women had choices when they lost a husband at least. When it came to witchcraft in these settlements it was not based on large scale panics. Women were just bored and accusing each other of witchcraft, which brought on a high count of civil cases. This kind of gossip was a way for women to earn power and have influence in the community.
Virginia followed of course the mother lands law of 1604. If there was harm to a person or property, the accused would be charged with malificarum. They refused to burn so execution was by hanging. The first records of Witchcraft in Virginia came from 1626 to 1730. 10 of the cases go to trial for Malificrum. Only two of these cases were men.
In order to accuse a person of witchcraft there had to be circumstantial evidence such as: bewitching of livestock; foreseeing death; specters coming in at night turning into cats; or left handed midwifes.
The Order of 1655: any person who would accuse scandalous acts termed witches had to prove with oath and witness or the accuser would be fined 1,000lbs of tobacco and centered to the court. Husbands had to pay, but the women would continue to slander each other.
In 1652 the husbands got smart and caught on to the tricks of slandering women. The women became responsible for their crime. If she refuses to pay or can’t afford to she is dunked for every 500lbs of tobacco she owes.
1). Very few clergies in Virginia. Religion was not yet established Anglican clergy didn’t care about witches at this time they were more concerned with other issues, such as survival of the settlements. They main concern here was, “will we live?”
2). Like previously mentioned were a commodity. They were not going to kill off a reproduction resource.
3). By the 1700’s they were moving away from witchcraft.
Examples of Witchcraft cases and the legend of Grace Sherwood.
Joan Wright was the first case of witchcraft. She was a married midwife, but a number of her neighbors accused her of killing newborns, crops, and livestock. She was also accused of predicting the death of fellow colonist. Her case ended well for her however, she confessed to the knowledge of witchcraft and is acquitted.
John Bird and his wife Anne were being sued by Charles Kinsey in an action of Defamation setting forth by their petition that said Kinsey had falsely and Scandalously defamed them saying that Anne did ride him from his house to Elizabeth Russell’s, and that by such his Discourse she was Reported and Rendered to be a witch or such like person, praying, one hundred ponds damage with cost (Witchcraft in Virginia).
Let’s fly North for a moment and see what the Puritans think. Puritans are ubber religious. The believe you must be religious 24/7. The Puritans are a break off of the English Church but are much stricter in their faith. They come to the New World to build on John Winthrop’s Theory of the “City on the Hill”. In their traditions Puritans have 3 hour long services 2 times a week. Practice what they preach (no dancing, theatre, and drinking).
Puritans differ from Pilgrims in many ways. The pilgrims came over 40 families to start and they came with less women. The puritans came as family units of 200. The Pilgrims wanted to burn the church of England where Puritans just wanted to improve the church.
The beliefs of Puritans are: Predestination; the belief that God chose your Destiny before your birth. They believed they had to ready themselves for salvation. Puritan souls are gendered female, to marry Christ. Providentialism; the belief good= reward bad= punishment. Moral Stewardship; everyone has a responsibility to hold their neighbors accountable. All of these ways of thinking will somehow effect what happens with witch’s in the future. At this time, we just need to understand the puritan mind.
Wonderful World of Puritans
For background check out this link, http://www.ushistory.org/us/index.asp
Welcome back to Massachusetts. We are going to stick around here for a little bit,so prop up your brooms.
"Bristles up; we don’t need bad luck." (Superstition of the Day).
We are focused on Salem because it is important to the largest outbreak of witchcraft that occurred in the United States, and it is an important part of our nation’s early history, eventhough it usually gets left out of teachings. Sure, you may have read The Crucible in high school English class, but do you know how much of it was historically accurate?
Okay, I'll get off the soap box, back to the Puritans and why they are important when looking at witchcraft. The way the Puritans lived had an effect on the witchcraft stir. Now, since we are in the Puritan region we are going to submerse ourselves into the Puritan lifestyle.
As I mentioned last time, their religion was based on: (1) Readying themselves for salvation (2) Predestination (3) Providentialism 4. Moral Stewardship. Keep these in mind as we talk about their housing and lifestyle.
From the 1650’s into the 1690’s the average house was small compared to what we are used to. They were only about 16x20 square feet. As houses evolved however, the Puritans started adding on to their dwellings. Basically, houses were built in three different sizes. Depending on qualifications, such as size and how many rooms. There was the half-house or cottage, the three-quarter house and the full house.
Come on, follow me into the full house where I think we should stay since our group is quite large, more than 12. How about you come on in and take a seat on a trunk? The oldest here gets a chair, and there is a stool in that corner. Oh, and please, take advantage of the chamber pot. Now, let’s just take a moment to soak up what it would be like in a home of this size. Could you survive?
Okay now, let’s talk about this body we are in. Yes, the Puritans thought of their homes as a body. This goes back to their religion. This is “Christs Divine body." The main things to remember about this body is the chimney and fireplace are the more important parts to the house. The chimney represents the breast, the protector of the fireplace which is the soul/womb, and the hearth is the heart. The Puritans would place what was known as witch bottles under the hearth to keep the witch’s out of the chimney.
Conversing by Signs on page 137 this shows the house as a body. https://books.google.com/books?id=p13MCQAAQBAJ&lpg=PA141&ots=kOHaz3uj-O&dq=puritan%20Door%20Mouth%20Windows%20Eyes&pg=PA137#v=onepage&q=mouth&f=true
Take a look around here at the furnishings. These people were very smart with how they used their space. Everything is used in multiple ways. For instance, you, on the trunk, that’s not just a seat for your rear end, that is also used for storage. You, on the chamber pot. You are going to love this. That’s our waste space.
There are not enough kitchen utensils to go around, so I hope you don’t mind sharing plates, silverware, and cups. You notice there are no beds on this floor. Well, mom and dad, you sleep upstairs on rope beds.
“The first sleep number bed.”(Lucas).
I say this because you and your wife determined how soft or hard the “mattress was.” All the hooks around the room in the banisters are to hang clothes or other items on.
Pop open the trunk now. We are really going to get into this. Let’s dress like the Puritans. The more elaborate clothing, showed wealth.
“My Fancy has Fancy,” (Lucas).
Ladies this is going to suck. Put on your shift and stay, then these itchy stockings. Next is the petite coat. Don’t forget your pocket. This is very handy -- the stomacher skirt, over skirt, then apron. Put your hair in a bun and cover it with a top knot, a hat and a neck cloth. Are you dressed yet?
Men, here's a long shirt that could also act as underwear, drawers, breeches, double coat, a cloak and hat, and boots and boot hose. This is quiet unfair as it's not quite as much work to dress as it was for a woman.
Who's ready to work? Ha! It doesn’t matter because all Puritans age 6 and up, did some kind of work and chores. If you weren’t working it was Sunday where you spent 3 hours in church. Work consisted of many different tasks for women and men. They pretty much worked there lives away.
Not only did women do day chores which was mostly domestic, sometime they took part in agricultural work, depending on the season. Women had to do spinning or weaving at night before bedtime. Spinning was not just sitting and letting the machine work. Sometimes the worker walked around the machine up to 15 miles
Tasks for men could range from agricultural work, wood work, sugaring, cider making, shoe making, blacksmithing, etc.
I have talked heavily about the farming and agriculture. Well, of course, this was their food source. The farmer’s year was 3 months for planting March to May, followed by the growing season from June to November, then at home doing other work from December to February.
If you look at this work schedule you have to wonder how in the world did witchcraft come about. If you’re not working you’re in church. I would think you have to be a real busy body to come up with something as mischievous as witchcraft. We are getting closer to the actual cases of witchcraft. Just please stay with me for more.
Characters of the Perfect Storm
Oh hello, I am glad your decided to return to this journey. Back in 1692, the Salem Witch Trials of Salem Village not Salem town were entangled in a series of events with a long list of key players. Now that we know the Puritans let's dive into this Perfect Storm.
First we will look at the numbers to get a perspective on what happened in a short period of time. In 1692 alone 156 were accused some repeat offenders of years past. Let's see... 30 were convicted, 44 confessed, 19 hanged, 1 crushed (ouch, buddy you should have confessed), finally 20 died in jail before conviction.
Abigail Williams 11: She is not a daughter; she is adopted into the Paris family. Paris treats her more like a servant than a family member. Abigail and his daughter Betty start acting unusual. It's not just a onetime thing but it tends to be a frequent occurrence in January, but it doesn't end it continues throughout 1692. Abigail's actions are different from Betty, she has screaming fits, convulsions, and crying out blasphemies.
Betty Paris 9: She is the daughter of Reverend Samuel Paris. Like Abigail she has been acting unusual, she can not fill pain, she also has outbursts.
The behavior of the two girls is not good for Paris. As the minister these behaviors look bad. He has to start praying and fasting, not only in his household but throughout Salem Village. Paris asks Dr. Griggs to come and diagnose the girls. There is no actual treatment because this is not behavior that can be diagnosed. These girls must be under an evil hand.
Samuel Paris Let's take a step back to get on board with who Paris is. Paris is the third minister to come to Salem village 1689-1696. He had strikes against him coming on scene, such as higher demands on payments, bringing in his servants from Barbados, and having a sickly child and wife. As a minister he came off as angry in his sermons which did not help him with the people of Salem Village. which takes us back to other players
"There are devils as well as saints in this church of Christ." (Godbeer 61)
Tituba: Servant to Paris which makes it worse. Tituba confesses to the accusations. "There are more among you" (Lucas). Tituba was accused of making a urine cake. This means she took urine and baked it into a cake she feed it to a dog. this was supposed to make the dog identify the witch responsible for the girl's affliction. She was accused of afflicting pain such as pinching and choking. In examination she was asked,
"What other liknesses besides a man hat appeared to you? Sometimes like a hog, sometimes like a great black dog, four times." (Godbeer 84)
In the fall of 1692 Tituba recanted her confession. Paris didn't treat her right of course, since she was just property. Paris would not pay her jail fees. April 1693 mystery man came to take her away. There is no record of who he was but most speculate it was her so named husband John.
Bridget Bishop: Oh Bridget, what a tale. A woman with 23 accusers, examined April 19, Trial June 2, and hanged June 10. Bridget had been married 3 times, red flag. Even her husband Edward accused her, what a guy. For an older woman she was attractive. According to Richard Coman, "But said Bishop came in her red paragon bodice," (Godbeer 111). Bridget was accused of murdering children this must have been the last of her life. On June 2, 1962 Susannah saw the apparition of Bridget and immediately appeared two little children and they said that they were Thomas Green's twins. They told to that she had murdered them in setting them in fits whereof they died.
George Burroughs "Black Minister": The non legit minister from 1680- 1683. He was accused by 30, examined May 9, Trial Aug 5, hanged Aug 19. Burroughs ran away to Maine to be a minister owing Salem Village. He was not seen as a masculine figure in his home. He was a physically strong man but, behind the scene he was scum. Burroughs was able to according to Thomas Greenslit, " lift and hold out a gun of six foot barrel or thereabouts, putting the forefinger of his right hand into the muzzle of said gun and that he held it arm's end with that finger," (Godbeer 141). He had three wives. Burrough came to Mary Walcott and told her "I had not the power to kill my first wife."(Godbeer 135). The first two wives however came to her to tell her he killed them in their winding sheet. Burrough was also accused of telling his victims to sign the black book. People saw Burroughs as the leader of the witch's in Salem.
I leave you with this Perfect Storm there are many more on trail and the ones to investigate further would be John Proctor and his family, Sarah Good, Giles Story. Speaking of him spoiler alert he was crushed, because he would not confess. The story behind him is one to peak at. I hope you enjoy and return another time.
Hey, everyone welcome to Salem Village. Now that we have spent a little time in Salem Village, it is time to ask the tough questions. Why is Salem so fascinating? Why did this out break occur? These questions can be answered but it seems like the truth is hidden within the people of Salem Village.
The Salem Witch Trials is such a fascination to a large population. Due, to the fact that it was such a big event for the 1600's in American History. It happened so fast and this was happening in the new world where people were just starting from new ways of living, to religion.
The Salem Witch Trials are such a fascination to a large population. Due, to the fact that it was such a big event for the 1600s in American History. It happened so fast and this was happening in the new world where people were just starting from new ways of living, to religion. The root of the fascination comes from the mystery of what was happening to the people being put on trial, why was this happening to them.
The Witch trials began in 1692, but there were major events that effected this community that lead up to the trials. In the perspective of Salem, we have discussed the housing, religion, and lifestyle so how did this open the door for mass hysteria.
In Salem Village there were events that were thought to have been the result of the trials as punishment. The people had been going through Indian wars, trying to break away from Salem town to their own community, and outbreaks of illness. I wouldn’t say so much this is punishment but a test. Do you believe that God will keep your community safe and let it thrive?o you believe that God will keep your community safe and let it thrive? By believing in witchcraft and witches, they were letting the devil into the community.
"Why is god punishing us?" (Lucas)
Trails were accusations of harm done to a group of girls” that ranged from teens to thirties. The people accused were people from their own community. These people ranged from rich to poor, young to old, males and females. This type of profile makes this out break more interesting because there is no rhythm or reason.
The accuser’s profiles fit better than the accused. "The girls” were younger women, looking for a suitor. They were slaves (servants) so no one was looking out for their future. The girls were heavily watched because; they were inside with very little freedom. In this situation, I would make up some stories like the ones we have heard to gain attention.
"the girls", the accusers that shouldn't be known as girls because they are older than they are PERCEIVED in readings and films. (lucas)
At night, a small group of girls would meet to discuss the future. “One of the girls devised a primitive crystal ball-the white of an egg suspended in a glass-and received a chilling answer. In the glass there floated “a specter in the likeness of a coffin”. What had begun as a fearful curiosity turned into a sharp panic,” (Salem Possessed). The girls could not admit that they were involved voluntarily they had to blame someone. The blame lead to behaviors and fits.
The girls in Salem all had similar accounts “sadly Afflicted of they knew not what Distempers,” wrote the Reverend John Hale of neighboring Beverly, the only eyewitness to these events. The children “were bitten and pinched by the unseen; their arms, necks, and backs turned this way and that way, and returned back again, so as it was impossible for them to do of themselves, and beyond the power of any Epileptick Fits, or natural Disease to effect,” (Devils Snare).
After reading a few pages from Diary of a Salem Witch I felt chills. The first entry sounds as if Dorcus Good is being forced to write this Diary. She placed her sweet arms around my neck and whispered in my ear, "let Hannibell have her way darling, what harm could it do," (5).
After reading these three exerts from historians you want to know more, right? When people read of things like this it sparks a fascination they want to dig deeper and know more. Not only do they want to read it but the want to see it. This is when we get plays like the Crucible, movies like Hocus Pocus, and radio shows such as, An early episode of the CBS radio program You Are There dramatized key events of the Witch Trials (1947). There are so many other shows that try to depict what happen. After a while they all seem to be the same. How do we keep our fascination to something that has been done over and over again? The answer maybe more simple than you think. That is that the evidence doesn’t leave a clear answer so you are left to speculate and that leads to seeing the same thing to ask a different question for the next person. The more digging and different the questions are, the more answers we can get.
The Salem Trail recreated
April 5th: https://www.witchcraftmag.us/america/ann-putnam-sr.html
Welcome back it feels like it has been a while since I have graced you with my presence. Maybe it is just me. So we are in Salem peering in on a witch trial but it is not just any trial to peer in on. Our class took part in having a trial on behalf of the Queen. We went back in time and had to play the roles of either a magistrate, a judge, or a defendant in the case.
From March 28 through April 6 we had our own Witch trials. Of course since there is a Maegan and a Megan in the class clever Dr. Lucas, as she is decided to have us play Ann Putnam Sr. and Jr. At first I was undecided about how I felt about this role.
I played Ann Sr. and of course there was little information on her. Well there was a witchcraft about this role. It was not easy to dig information since in some readings from Godbeer and outside online research there was an intertwining of information.
It ended up being easier than I thought. I was at least able to accuse any person in Salem Village, so I had a handful of options there. I feel like I played the part as best I could with what I had.
Reverend Paris had come to us as a minister my husband and I tried to convince the community he was what we needed. He had provided a good first impression. Once he and his family moved into Salem it things started to drastically change for the worse. Paris brought in his wife and daughter who were ill. He had a niece move in as a servant (attention seeker). Paris had also brought slaves with him Tituba and John. Tituba was supposedly doing the work of the devil but I think this was because Reverend Paris provoked her. He was in charge of his slaves so it has to be him behind it.
Bridget Bishop a midwife in Salem Village. I am for sure she was afflicting me. Bridget done bodily harm to me in different ways. Bridget had images of myself and other victims that she would take thorns and strike the images, and she also has been found with dolls that she would use to inflict pain. I am not the only one to accuse Bridget she has been accused in the past. Bridget has a way about her to be a temptation to men. My final stand on this accusation is that Bridget Bishop calls the Devil her God.
Goodwife Corey is among the Devil. According to Godbeer in Goodwife Corey’s trial I can can affirm that one day, Lieutenant Fuller was at prayer at her father’s house, she saw the shape of Goodwife Nurse and Goodwife Corey praying to the Devil. Ann could not confirm Goodwife Nurse but was certain it was Goodwife Corey.(p.56)
Ah! She was a Gospel witch (p.56)
Goodwife Corey is a “gospel witch” (p.56). Goodwife Corey has inflicted pain on myself and the girls through strangling, biting, and pinching. Goodwife Corey carries a book that must be from Devil.
The trial did not go like I thought. I think there should have been a lot more of reactions in the trial from the defendants. I think we didn’t get dramatic enough, I admit guilt in that. I could have been more vocal and dramatic.
The verdict in the trail seemed to be unfair I feel like I was the target all alone. The girls get off, but I get banished to Rhode Island with Paris and stripped of my place in God’s kingdom. I should have seen it coming because of my age. I also feel the judges and magistrates didn't ask enough from me. The girls were able to say but I tried to ignore them I tried to be good and obey what I was told, but my question flat out gave me up.
The question was:
Ann Sr., you mentioned seeing Goodwife Corey talking to the devil where were you and how can we believe you were not there doing the same? I am a good christian woman she was there with Lieutenant Fuller and I heard her talk to the devil not to God.
I had to constantly had to prove myself as a good christian woman. I had to be the role model. At my age I must be the voice to the girls, to influence them on who was guilty of witchcraft.
Know that we have taken a peek into the past and see a reenactment of a trial you can determine for yourself the existence of witchcraft in Salem. Maybe there is more to help you determine. We still have to see a film of the historian's point of view of the witchcraft in Salem.
A Final Influence of Witchcraft in Salem
4-18-17 Three Sovereigns for Sarah
Hello, we are at our final moments in Salem. It has been an exciting journey. This time instead of talking about Salem as a place we are going to focus on a discussion of a video and how historically accurate it is to the trials.
Take into account my last topic was about our reenactment of the trail. Think about why we had the trail before viewing Three Sovereigns for Sarah.
Three Sovereigns for Sarah was taken from the point of view of Sarah Cloyce. She and her two sisters were put on trial for witchcraft. Her sisters were found guilty in their trials and hung. Sarah however was not found guilty so had the opportunity to fight for her sisters names and innocence. Three weeks after she was able to do so she passed.
Now that I have revealed what happened let us look at how it all started and ended the way it did by looking at the movie and records. In addition, as we go along let us find which historians had most of the influence on the film.
The movie starts out showing Sarah going to meet with the magistrates just have her sisters names cleared. Along the way when she passes the hanging tree you can see her become uncomfortable opening herself up to flashbacks of the horrible things that happened in Salem Village, because of the hysteria of witchcraft.
Sarah was with her nephew Samuel who throughout the trails stayed close to his family and tried to keep Sarah informed to who was accused next. He was also able to get into the jail and relay information. I question the accuracy to this situation, just by how easy it was portrayed. The way it was played it was probably to entertain the audience more than being realistic.
How were these women accused and sitting in the horrible conditions of jail. Some were old and feeble, like Rebecca. Doyce was only a child of four years, her mother was in and pregnant. Even by being jailed it made Sarah’s health decline and her eyes and face had changed drastically in the short time there. Most of the women we find out were held prisoner based on a map of social standings or their relationship to the Putnams.
When we see the start of the hysteria, it had started in the Paris household. Most of Salem Village had not wanted Paris to come in as the minister, he had demands the community was not ready or willing to meet.
Paris brought an interesting family into Salem. His wife in reality was ill, however in the film she was portrayed more as caregiver to their ill daughter Betty. He also brought in slaves Tituba and John. These two came from another country and so they were not equal to anyone in Salem Village. Then there was his niece/servant Abigail Williams.
Paris is by no means innocent. He pushes the fact that there was, “evil is in this place” he quoted scripture to back up his observations. He did not do his best to find out about the fits, and confirming what was going on. He just asked Dr. Griggs who examined Abigail and Betty, if he did that. While the fits were going on he didn't bring the girls together, nor did he really listen to and observe what was going on around them. Even in the trials Paris is to record the case. At the beginning you can see the way his facial expressions seemed to convince me that some of the records might be tainted.
Abigail comes across as the ring leader. Throughout the trail, she has on a red and black cape which is of course a movie thing to show her role in the hysteria. She leads the girls into fits in the middle of court. Abigail’s expressions even have a look of deception, like she is grasping for straws on who to accuse next.
Tituba however had shown the girl's simple things that was witchcraft. Some of the things she would say to Abigail, Tituba would say You must not tell the reverend, or right before he would walk in “quiet now”. “You must not tell anyone”. Then she would show the girls how to use an egg to see into the future. There are these signs of Tituba being a witch but the girls, accuse John.
You must not tell
One of the girls Ann Putnam Jr. was a snitch. She would tell her mother Ann Putnam Sr. about the things she was involved in with Abigail. Ann Jr. was a big player in the accusations. At first she was alright with what she was doing. After the trails when she looked back, she had a change of heart, by this time she could only ask for forgiveness.
With all the accusations and odd behavior, the role Ann Putnam Sr. looks bad. After watching this film I realized she was not as much a victim as I thought I had to portray her in our trial. In fact if I had seen this film before the trial I would not have been able to play her as innocent.
After the trails we can see a number of women hung and Corey Giles death of being crushed. The way this was portrayed in the film seemed so horrific, so I can not imagine it in person. He was asked to confess and all he could say was, “more weight”.
From what I observed in the film, The historian I think that had the most impact on this film would be… Boyers and NissenBaum
This film portrayed as accurate as possible but to keep the audience entertained you can see the pieces of “Hollywood”.
https://www.thoughtco.com/sarah-cloyce-biography-3530328 further information.
Thanks for attending our last journey. Our final week of exploring witchcraft is going to be out of Latin America and Africa. Witch craft in all cultures we have seen has somehow tied to religion and law. No difference here!