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Partial Essay

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In 1692 through 1693, large populations of females in Massachusetts were accused of practicing witchcraft. Those who were accused of taking part in witchcraft were considered to be practicing the Devil's magic. Many of the people believed that the Devil would give certain people these odd powers so they could harm others while staying loyal to the Devil. The thoughts and accusations of the witchcraft began after the King William's war when people came through Salem. With that, and the ordained minister not being liked, the people of Salem blamed all of the tension and fighting on the Devil. Salem was a home to mass hystera from the very beginning. Harmless activities such as playing sports, dancing or walking around town alone were considered suspicious and questionable acts. Even crippled or ill people were thought to be the Devil's offsrping and the Purtians had no sympathy for them.

The direct and specific accusations began in January of 1692 when three girls, related to Revereand Parris seemed to be having 'fits.' The three of them were said to throw things randomly, making weird sounds, screaming, complaining of itching biting, and pinching sensations, and twisting their bodies into odd ways that looked like they were convulsing. Because this behavior was unexpected and unexplainable, the Devil was blamed for it. After the first three girls were accused of this, others started to have the same symptoms and issues, and they too were accused of practicing witchcraft and having something to do with the Devil. The girls placed blame on the women in town they did not like or their slaves to avoid blame. Typically single females were the ones accused of this because they had no man to defend them, and were typically not attractive if they were single. They seemed to fit the part according to our modern day veiws of witches.



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