Story of a Healer
Hello and welcom to my site. This was made because of a school project I had to do for my twelfth grade englis class. We had to pick a topic that we would want to research and make eight different things on. I had more than a few ideas of what I wanted to do, but none of them every really stuck. Then I remembered the Salem Witch Trials and all the things that happened back then. I alwayswondered what had caused such mass hysteria that caused the deaths of so many in such a short amount of time. So I decided that I would do my project on the Salem Witch Trials and try to conveya an idea of what it might be like being someone prosecuted in these times.
The witch trials lasted all of four months in the summar of 1692. At the time where Salem was located was very close to an on going war with Indians. The people of Salem were a very religious group in a somewhat tight nit community. Back in their times they ate mostly homemade or hand made bread and other things. There are many theories as to why this happened, but the one I most believe and that is hinted at in some of the stories is that of an illness caused by bad rye. Sometime during the months before the trials a young girl whom was part of one of the most influential families in all of Salem begain acting very strange. She begain acting violent at nothing and hiding beneath the couch as if from some unknown monster. This girl's name was Betty Parris, and there were more symptoms of illness than just the hiding. Young Betty also complained of fever and would contort in pain at times. Soon it wasn't just Betty exhibiting this rather queer behavior her playmates other young girls about her age started to act the same.
How does this somehow connect to witchcraft you ask? Well, around the same time an auther by the name of Cotton Mather wrote a book called "Memorable Providences" in which he describes suspected witchcraft of an english woman. This woman had shown the same strange behavior as Betty and the other young girls. For a town so close to war and at the same time vary religious this seemed to explain everything. There were people doing the devil's bidding amungst them and they must find out who it was. This is when things started to go down hill. Around June of 1692 the people of Salem started to look for the so called Witchs amung them. At the same time folowing the words of the sick girls who had begun claming to see woman flying around in the river mist. This was it they had to find the problem. The triles started with a woman named Tituba whom was a Betty Parris family Indian slave. When a doctor came to examin the girls and sugested supernatural origin Tituba tried to find a cure.
She was tould to mix the urien of the sick girls with rye and feed it to a dog, they were believed to be minions of the witches. People of Salem had suspected her before this so called cure, because of reports that she would tell the girls stories of the supernatural. After the cake had been made it was dubed the Witch's cake and Tituba was thus dubed a witch and had to be punished. She however, wasn't the only woman there were many others whom were tried and killed or thrown in a cell left to rot. There was no telling who would be tried. Some simply, because the no longer attended church with the rest. Others, because they kept to themselves a lot and were offten grumpy. Someone who had been your best friend one day could be calling you a witch the next.By the time fall came about people were starting to doubt their previous convictions. Later when it was decided that real prof was needed that someone was a witch the accused started to be released. The hysteria died down and the witchhunt was over.
Still even with all of the ideas and theories no one is quite sure what created the witchhunt in the first place. Nor what really caused the girl's illness. All that is known is that many people died and a great many were innocent.
Enjoy the site,
A letter to my readers