Banisteriopsis… Meanings The modern English word witchcraft has three principal connotations:
Visit Website Did you know?
In an effort to explain by scientific means the strange afflictions suffered by those "bewitched" Salem residents ina study published in Science magazine in cited the fungus ergot found in rye, wheat and other cerealswhich toxicologists say can cause symptoms such as delusions, vomiting and muscle spasms.
In January9-year-old Elizabeth Betty Parris and year-old Abigail Williams the daughter and niece of Samuel Parris, minister of Salem Village began having fits, including violent contortions and uncontrollable outbursts of screaming.
After a local doctor, William Griggs, diagnosed bewitchment, other young girls in the community began to exhibit similar symptoms, including Ann Putnam Jr.
The Hysteria Spreads The three accused witches were brought before the magistrates Jonathan Corwin and John Hathorne and questioned, even as their accusers appeared in the courtroom in a grand display of spasms, contortions, screaming and writhing.
Though Good and Osborn denied their guilt, Tituba confessed.
Likely seeking to save herself from certain conviction by acting as an informer, she claimed there were other witches acting alongside her in service of the devil against the Puritans. As hysteria spread through the community and beyond into the rest of Massachusetts, a number of others were accused, including Martha Corey and Rebecca Nurse—both regarded as upstanding members of church and community—and the four-year-old daughter of Sarah Good.
In Maythe newly appointed governor of Massachusetts, William Phips, ordered the establishment of a special Court of Oyer to hear and Terminer to decide on witchcraft cases for Suffolk, Essex and Middlesex counties. Presided over by judges including Hathorne, Samuel Sewall and William Stoughton, the court handed down its first conviction, against Bridget Bishop, on June 2; she was hanged eight days later on what would become known as Gallows Hill in Salem Town.
Five more people were hanged that July; five in August and eight more in September. Conclusion and Legacy Though the respected minister Cotton Mather had warned of the dubious value of spectral evidence or testimony about dreams and visionshis concerns went largely unheeded during the Salem witch trials.
Trials continued with dwindling intensity until earlyand by that May Phips had pardoned and released all those in prison on witchcraft charges. In Januarythe Massachusetts General Court declared a day of fasting for the tragedy of the Salem witch trials; the court later deemed the trials unlawful, and the leading justice Samuel Sewall publicly apologized for his role in the process.
The damage to the community lingered, however, even after Massachusetts Colony passed legislation restoring the good names of the condemned and providing financial restitution to their heirs in Start your free trial today.For the history of witchcraft and its persecutions see howard Williams, The Superstitions of Witchcraft, , and (brief but interesting and compact) Charles Mackay, Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions (2 volumes, , ).
Explore the meaning, history, and significance of witchcraft, and test your understanding of witchcraft and magic across various cultures and moments in history. Witchcraft was the infliction of harm or pain with diabolic help.
Witchcraft was usually blamed on women, but some men were also accused. Puritans defined witchcraft as entering into a compact with the devil in exchange for certain powers to do evil. The History and Definition of Witchcraft In England and New England in the 17th century, it was believed that an evil witch made a pact with the devil that involved the exchange of her soul for powers with which she could torture other mortals, which brings about the beginning of witchcraft.
Introduction Witchcraft is an important and difficult historical subject. Throughout human history, most cultures and societies have conceived of certain.
Witchcraft is a broad term that varies culturally and societally, and thus can be difficult to define with precision, and cross-cultural assumptions about the meaning or significance of .