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The Salem Witch Trials. From June through September of 1692, nineteen men and women, all having been convicted of witchcraft, were carted to Gallows Hill, a barren slope near Salem Village, for hanging. .

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From June through September of 1692, nineteen men and women, all having been convicted of witchcraft, were carted to Gallows Hill, a barren slope near Salem Village, for hanging.


Another man of over eighty years old was pressed to death under heavy stones for refusing to submit to a trial on witchcraft charges.

  • Elizabeth “Betty" Parris (November 28, 1682 – March 21, 1760) was one of the accusers during the Salem witch trials.
the behavior of betty parris explained by science
The behavior of Betty Parris Explained by science.
  • Sometime during February of the exceptionally cold winter of 1692, young Betty Parris became strangely ill. She dashed about, dove under furniture, contorted in pain, and complained of fever. The cause of her symptoms may have been some combination of stress, asthma, guilt, boredom, child abuse, epilepsy, and delusional psychosis.  The symptoms also could have been caused, as Linda Caporael argued in a 1976 article in Science magazine, by a disease called "convulsive ergotism" brought on by ingesting rye--eaten as a cereal and as a common ingredient of bread--infected with ergot.  (Ergot is caused by a fungus which invades developing kernels of rye grain, especially under warm and damp conditions such as existed at the time of the previous rye harvest in Salem. Convulsive ergotism causes violent fits, a crawling sensation on the skin, vomiting, choking, and intense audio and visual hallucinations…

Hundreds of others faced accusations of witchcraft; dozens languished and slowly rotted in inhumane jail cell conditions for months without trials until the hysteria that swept through Puritan Massachusetts subsided.

what caused it
What Caused It?
  • An unfortunate combination of an ongoing frontier war, economic conditions, congregational strife, teenage boredom, and personal jealousies can account for the spiraling accusations, trials, and executions that occurred in the spring and summer of 1692.
Each generation must learn the lessons of history or risk repeating its mistakes.  Salem should warn us to think hard about how to best safeguard and improve our system of justice.
lesson learned
Lesson learned
  • Gov. William Phips (1692-1693)

After the Salem witch trials, our Justice system adopted the idea of everyone being innocent until proven guilty in a court of law ; and “Spectral Evidence” was thrown out of our system of justice.

works cited
Works Cited
  • Linder, Douglas O. “Betty Parris.” Famous

American Trials: Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692. September 2009. 4 November 2011


Path: Chronology; Biographies; Selected ; Images; Examinations and Evidence.