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American Witchcraft and Witches

    Witchcraft came to America with the first settlers but never really became big due to laws bought in about those being found to be witches or parctising witchraft or entering into a pact with the devil would be put to death.

    The first ever execution and trial was in Connecticut and was that of Alice Young who was hung in Connecticut. As a result other trials came about such as those of Mary Johnson, Mary Parsons and several others at this time who were all found to have been witches and subsequently put to death.

    Up until 1662 there were many trials for witchcraft but there were a few that would come to the attention of the public.

    The most notorious of all trials to take place in america was the Salem Trials as this was the most traumatic witch-hunts ever and resulted in many deaths.

    The tale began when eight girls between the ages of 11-20 began to show signs of being possessed by a demon. The girls are believed to have read and heard much about witchcraft and may inadvertently been affected by these tales. Several other girls as a result of this histeria also started to show signs of being possessed such as Mary Warren a servant in the house of Elizabeth and John Proctor.

    The girls to get out of their bad doings started naming people as witches. Several people named were obvious suspects. The suspects denied any wrong doing but the girls kept insisting that they were being pinched, beaten and abused even while the suspects were standing in front of them. All in all they had named 150 people from all backgrounds.

    Not all accused were from salem several hailed from adjoining villages. Several of the accused turned up to the court and when the girls found out whom they were would through these fits, many of the accused were later released.

    Many people wer the girls allies and would help to discredit witnesses. Many of the most respected people of the district were accused and were hung even devout church-goers, reverends etc all because they had gotten on the wrong side of the Putnams. Two of the girls tried to withdraw their accusations but were forced by the others not to and was forced to make up even more lies.

    Those who confessed were left to their own devices by the girls and were not hung but those who refused to confess were hung. Having believed the girls and throwing out all legalities to do with a trial the judges readily believed everything the girls were telling them and hung many an innocent.

    The courts in later years cleared all those accused of witchcraft and in 1711 the relatives of those accused were given financial compensation albeiet meagre. By 1957 all accused and convicted were reversed.

    The girls involved were never punished by the courts and never showed remorse of any kind and only one of them ventured to mae a somewhat meagre confession and that being Ann Putnam who stated in church that she was a low point in her life and that she allowed satan to deceive her.

    A much cooler headed trial in stamford involved a servant girl who accused 6 women of afflicting her with fits. This was never proven and those accused were given reprieves as th so-called evidence against them was flimsy and sinful and unlawful.


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