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Author: Subject: Salem Witch Trials

Coward





Posts: 10
Registered: 31/12/1969
Status: Offline

  posted on 6/4/2002 at 08:31 AM
Okay, guys... iīm not doing a project for school or anything... itīs just that three of my ancestors (Mary Easty, Sarah Cloyce, and Rebecca Nurse) were accused of witchcraft in the Salem Witch Trials and two were hung (Mary and Rebecca); so iīm just wondering... what do you guys think caused it? OR if you have any other thoughts/comments on the subject.

 

____________________
I haven't lost my mind. I KICKED it out a long time ago.

 

Member




Posts: 104
Registered: 31/12/1969
Status: Offline

  posted on 6/4/2002 at 04:04 PM
Actually I have no idea what could have been the starting point to it. As we learn in social class, many leaders pointed their fingers at something for society to hate and pursue, so that the people wouldnīt think about what the leaders were doing and start to complain. Perhaps it were something like that. Then the human nature came into play... mass-hysteria... ignorance... I donīt really know.

I do think people am the same today though. Many things can be compared with the īwith huntī... just look at WW2 in example... maybe even the whole terrorist attacks and the war after can be compared to it. The only thing I know for sure is that is scares me that humans can act like that.

 

____________________
~The World Can Continue It's Excistence Without Mankind... But What Happens To The Mankind When The Earth Is Gone?~

 

Extreme Fanatic




Posts: 856
Registered: 31/12/1969
Status: Offline

  posted on 6/4/2002 at 06:33 PM
If Iīm not mistaken, it actually started with Botany...yes, botany my friends, an insidious plot by the vegetable kingdom to slowly destroy us all...no seriously. They had rye fields around Salem at the time, and theirs this stuff that grows on rye when itīs in a moist environment, itīs called ergot or something. No shit, the stuff makes you go ape-shit, hallucinate and act erratically. I think itīs started with a little accidently ingested Ergot, someone thought they saw something, and like mankind usually does...just went with the flow after that. Big fucking case of the "mistakes".

 

____________________
In the valley of the Goats, the Goat Fucker is King

 

Administrator




Posts: 317
Registered: 31/12/1969
Status: Online

  posted on 6/4/2002 at 07:14 PM
Yep - that was what I learnt about it. The stuff has about the same effect as LSD - and you can imagine what those stuffy religious fucks were thinking when their kids started trippin their asses off and saying people looked like witches, and talking about seeing stuff. Just a normal teenage experience nowdays but back then mind altering substances were a little harder to come by. If they would have just relaxed a little about it, weīd be hearing about the Happytown Love Fest instead of the Salem Witch Trials.

 

____________________
So Sayeth Me

 

Occasional Poster




Posts: 12
Registered: 31/12/1969
Status: Offline

  posted on 6/4/2002 at 10:05 PM
I am sure that the ergot may have started it for the girls begining to see things; however, I know that the whole mess became politically oriented around property and status. The governing officials were out for property, and the ministers were out for the religious status. It was a good way to clear the village of what their society would call "bums" as well. Unfortunately the mess got out of hand, and fortunately it got stopped before it got any further. You will notice that most of the victims of these trials (and I did do a paper on it) were widowed, old, single and/or female. Only one man was cried out on, and he had a wife who was condemned. So, maybe the girls got a little nuts over some bad bread that a slave gave them, maybe they spent some time with her and heard her stories (it is oh-so-easy to blame the slave, now isnīt it) but the fact still remains that the girls were just as much victims of their times as were the accused. Blame hormones and an ultra-conservative/overly-religious society for those poor things. Hysteria and fear. Anyhow, I blame the politicians. But donīt I always?

 

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A little shakey but still on our feet.

 

Extreme Fanatic




Posts: 1570
Registered: 31/12/1969
Status: Offline

  posted on 6/4/2002 at 11:51 PM
A history buff in middle school and now, let me shed a little light.

A group of young girls (of a group of powerful men) were obsessed with a cuban slave named tituba, who on certain nights would lead the girls into the woods and taught them "love spells" to lure the boys they liked. The youngest girl who followed them unbeknownst to the rest of the group, saw them dancing (forbidden) around a fire (forbidden) and acting like typical teenage girls (ie: maniacs). She was scared, spotted, and ann putnam threatened that if she spoke of it, theyīd beat her. So she clammed up. FOR GOOD. Her catatonia was first seen as a malady, a fever, then someone suggested she was bewitched. They called in a magistrate, who examined her, and the girls trying to save face, said she was indeed bewitched, and that they themselves were being tortured by demons sent by a witch. Knowing if they were found out to have been dancing *!* in the woods *!* making "love spells" with the cuban slave they would be whipped or worse. They blamed tituba, she tried to save herself and said she was forced into it by the devil sent by someone ELSE, and so on and so on, basically mass hysteria bred by a sterile uneventfull life, greed, and bored teenage girls who dug a pit and couldnt get out, so drug as many down with them as they could.

Many of the names were cleared after death (they even jailed and put on trial a three year old girl and a 90 year old woman, who was hung)

Itīs mass hysteria. It started as "dangerous" fun in the woods that got out of hand, and was perpetuated by fear, ignorance, drama and greed.

Thatīs what I have...there will never be a totally clear story to it, but I read it straight out of a historical case study book without elaborate story telling, so Iīm assuming itīs as close to what happened as can be told.

 

____________________
Trapped in time. Surrounded by evil. Low on gas.

 

Member




Posts: 114
Registered: 31/12/1969
Status: Offline

  posted on 7/4/2002 at 11:09 AM
from what I have heard, along with everyone else, it was a fungus or something that grew on bread. I find it hard to study the subject for to long, because it freaks me out, but I know a bit if there is anythign specific you want

 

____________________
this is your world in which we grow and we will grow to hate you

 

Extreme Fanatic




Posts: 1570
Registered: 31/12/1969
Status: Offline

  posted on 7/4/2002 at 08:07 PM
They actually believe that rye fungus is what spawned the werewolf tales of europe, in fact. Making people crazy thinking they can turn into wolves, making people crazy and thinking they can SEE werewolves...or have seen people changing INTO wolves...

Man, not even educated enough to enjoy the trip...how sad

I knew there was a reason I stayed away from drugs...

 

____________________
Trapped in time. Surrounded by evil. Low on gas.

 

Extreme Fanatic




Posts: 897
Registered: 31/12/1969
Status: Offline

  posted on 8/4/2002 at 08:28 PM
I read a book that pretty much covered the social/political side of the story, and shortly after, I happened to see a program on TV about the medical side.



Their theory was the whole ergot thing. One thing that bore that out was the practice of making a dog eat a biscuit soaked in the pee of someone who was afflicted. If the dog suffered the same symptoms, it was "proof" of witchcraft. Of course, the pee was chock full of ergot, so of course the poor dog started tripping.



Also, all the afflicted people ate rye from fields on marshy ground - perfect breeding ground for ergot.



The same sort of thing happened in France, not so very long ago. Recently enough for some elderly people to remember. Everyone who ate bread from a certain bakery went off their heads, and some died. Even then, there was talk of witchcraft.



There was some really ancient guy that they dug up out of a peat bog in England or someplace, pretty much perfectly preserved. They had slit his throat and bashed him over the head. They examined the contents of his stomach, or something, and found traces of ergot. So apparently they were witch-hunting even then,



Politically, things were pretty much split between the farmers (who wanted to separate from Salem and form their own town) and the merchants (who were dependent on Salem for their livelihood.) Apparently the minister for that region of Salem was anti-separating, while most of the people in his congregation were pro. But the most powerful people sided with the minister, even though they were outnumbered. The split seemed to run along the same lines as the bad rye fields. So when the sickness broke out, the political split (and the anti-witchcraft sentiment) helped things to get way, WAY out of hand.



Funny how Salem has become this big witchcraft center, even though chances are there werenīt even any real witches involved in the whole shindig!

 

____________________
"You can tell by the scars on my arms and the cracks in my hips and the dents in my car and the blisters on my lips that I'm not the carefullest of girls." - Dresden Dolls, "Girl Anachronism"

 





Posts: 116
Registered: 14/4/2002
Status: Offline

  posted on 16/4/2002 at 07:34 AM
Yeah, iīve heard those ones before (Iīm kinda obsessed with reading about the trials! :-) ). Thanks for writing too, you guys... i like hearing what people think. Hey Schizo, i think i saw that movie, too! Was it on PBS?

 

____________________

 

Member




Posts: 114
Registered: 31/12/1969
Status: Offline

  posted on 16/4/2002 at 12:56 PM
I read a book although it is fiction, I am quite sure that it had a basis in reality about the whole fungus thing, it is by Robin Cook (former doctor turned medical horror/thriller writer) anyway, it is fun for a light read...I donīt remember the title, but it shouldnīt be that hard to find.

 

____________________
this is your world in which we grow and we will grow to hate you

 

Fanatic




Posts: 248
Registered: 31/12/1969
Status: Offline

  posted on 16/4/2002 at 06:38 PM
Iīm not trying to be a bytch or anything..I take that back anywho. I have done lots of research on the Salem Witch trails. This year my Skoolīs production was Authur Millerīs The Crucible which is based on the true story of John Proctor and the rest of them. I had to do all kinds of background information cause I was the Stage manager and was in charge of the sets and all that good stuff as well as helping with character development.

I find it very hard to believe that your ancestors are Mary Easty Sarah and Rebecca Nurse sense all of them were not related by blood. If Iīm not mistaken Rebecca Was hung because she didnīt sign a statement saying that she compacted with the devil blah blah blah yadda yadda yadda........I dunno I could be wrong but from all the research that Iīve done and all the reading that I have done Those three were in the same area of town convicted of witchcraft but were not blood related.....

Could be just my information was wrong....but hey you could be right......

 

____________________
My Life is like a porno-Without the sex-Just the weird music

 

Member




Posts: 114
Registered: 31/12/1969
Status: Offline

  posted on 16/4/2002 at 10:49 PM
I kind of agree due to one to many ppl trying to convince me that they are related to this famous dead person or that famous dead person, I always tend to take it with a grain of salt, not that I am saying this person would lie, just that i am a bit skeptical about certian things

 

____________________
this is your world in which we grow and we will grow to hate you

 

Occasional Poster




Posts: 22
Registered: 31/12/1969
Status: Offline

  posted on 16/4/2002 at 11:40 PM
given the fact that the people at this time were not as sexualy liberal as we are now,
most likely hints at a motive for getting carried away. the acused would have to be examined by a priest. i fear that i was tortured on the rack in another lifetime. that could have been the spanish inquisition though.
see if there were indians in salem it would have been a hippie fest. indians know there hallucinegens.

 

____________________
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Occasional Poster




Posts: 12
Registered: 31/12/1969
Status: Offline

  posted on 18/4/2002 at 10:54 AM
Again, Bette, I agree with what you researched; I found out much of the same thing in my research as well. However...whoīs to say that the ergot mayīve been involved as well? It was all happening arond the same time. However, I beleive (if memory serves me) that Salem was the last real "Trial" of the whole witch-craze period. Anyhow, I do know that things usually involve more than one element, and that part of the whole burning-times hysteria was religio-politically oriented. I am sure that the same element became involved in Salem as well, humans being humans. :roll:

 

____________________
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