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Tituba and The Salem Witch Trials of 1692
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These are five of their stories. When the special Court of Oyer and Terminer convened in Salem Town in early June, the first case it heard was against Bridget Bishop , a local widow, as the prosecutor assumed her case would be easy to win. Bishop had been accused of witchcraft more than a decade earlier, but was acquitted for lack of evidence.
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Ten witnesses testified against Bishop, and she was quickly found guilty and sentenced to death. By then, signs of opposition to the Salem Witch Trials had begun to surface.
Several ministers questioned whether the court relied too much on spectral evidence , or testimony about the ghostly figures witches supposedly sent to afflict their victims. But what was disputed was whether the devil could send the shape of an innocent person to afflict.
Witchcraft Confessions and Accusations : Professor Mary Douglas :
Still, when the Court of Oyer and Terminer reconvened on June 28 after its success convicting Bishop, Sarah Good was quickly convicted and sentenced to death. On July 19, Good was carted to Gallows Hill and executed along with the churchgoing grandmother, Rebecca Nurse , and three other convicted witches. A young woman accused of witchcraft by Puritan ministers appeals to Satan to save her in a trial. Susannah Martin did not even live in Salem, but in Amesbury, Massachusetts.
Witchcraft Confessions and Sexual Fantasies during the English Civil War
Like Bishop, she had been accused of witchcraft before, but the charges had been dropped for lack of evidence. Her bad reputation may have spread to Salem by , when four of the afflicted girls in Salem accused her by name, claiming her specter had attacked them.
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When the Court of Oyer and Terminer met for a third session in early August , it heard the case of Martha Carrier of Andover, which would be home to more accused witches than any other town. After Carrier was accused, the authorities interrogated her two teenage sons, torturing them into confessing to witchcraft themselves, and implicating their mother.
On August 19, Carrier went to Gallows Hill along with Proctor, Burroughs and two other men —she was the only woman executed that day. Martha Corey and her prosecutors, after being found guilty of being a witch.