Salem Witch Trials

In 1692, several girls in the strictly Puritan village of Salem, Massachusetts experienced "fits of obscene babbling and hysteria", contorted themselves in unusual postions and admitted to hearing evil voices when their preacher spoke. They claimed to be bewitched and accused three outcast women of being witches. Soon, as the witchcraft hysteria spread through the Massachusetts colony, dozens of other women and a few men were thrown in jail and charged with practicing witchcraft. The condemned "witches" were tried at court. If the accused admitted to practicing witchcraft, they were freed. More than 20 people were executed for witchcraft.

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