In January 1692, 9-year-old Elizabeth (Betty) Parris and 11-year-old Abigail Williams (the daughter and niece of Samuel Parris, minister of Salem Village) began having fits, including violent contortions and uncontrollable outbursts of screaming. After a local doctor, William Griggs, diagnosed bewitchment, other young girls in the community began to exhibit similar symptoms.
In late February, arrest warrants were issued for the Parris’ Caribbean slave, Tituba, along with two other women–the homeless beggar Sarah Good and the poor, elderly Sarah Osborn–whom the girls accused of bewitching them.
The three accused witches were brought before the magistrates Jonathan Corwin and John Hathorne and questioned, even as their accusers appeared in the courtroom in a grand display of spasms, contortions, screaming and writhing.
Though Good and Osborn denied their guilt, Tituba confessed. Likely seeking to save herself from certain conviction by acting as an informer, she claimed there were other witches acting alongside her in service of the devil against the Puritans. As hysteria spread through the community and beyond into the rest of Massachusetts, a number of others were accused, including Martha Corey and Rebecca Nurse–both regarded as upstanding members of church and community–and the four-year-old daughter of Sarah Good.
Like Tituba, several accused “witches” confessed and named still others, and the trials soon began to overwhelm the local justice system. In May 1692, the newly appointed governor of Massachusetts, William Phips, ordered the establishment of a special Court of Oyer (to hear) and Terminer (to decide) on witchcraft cases for Suffolk, Essex and Middlesex counties. Presided over by judges including Hathorne, Samuel Sewall and William Stoughton, the court handed down its first conviction, against Bridget Bishop, on June 2; she was hanged eight days later on what would become known as Gallows Hill in Salem Town. Five more people were hanged that July; five in August and eight more in September. In addition, seven other accused witches died in jail, while the elderly Giles Corey (Martha’s husband) was pressed to death by stones after he refused to enter a plea at his arraignment
All this happened in Salem, 1692.
Thanks to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, today we have rights that protect us from false accusations and unfair trials.
In the Constitution we can see rights that were affected by the Salem Witch
Trials, evidence for the fact that the drafters of the Constitution were
perfectly aware of what would happen if people did not have certain legal
rights. Most of the rights that are related to the Salem Witch Trials deal
with in the fifth and sixth amendment. The Fifth Amendment gives us rights such
as, grand jury, double jeopardy, self-incrimination, and due process, while the
sixth amendment gives us rights like jury trial, right to confront and to
counsel. (“Bill of Rights”)
In those two amendments there are some important points that were influenced by the Salem Witch Trials. One of the things the Fifth Amendment tells us
is, “nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against
himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property,” This is on the premise
with the right that nobody has to provide a self-incriminating testimony against
himself. In the witch trials self-incriminating questions were asked and they
had to be answered. Also during the witch trials they had no defense, but as
specified by the Bill of Rights, “and to have the assistance of counsel for his
defense.” This specifies that everybody must have a right to defend themselves;
however, this right was denied during the witch trials. (“Bill of Rights”)
During the Salem Witch Trials people were questioned by a jury that already
thought they were guilty and asked questions that would make them seem guilty.
This is dealt with in the Bill of rights too where it says, “In all criminal
prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by
an impartial jury.” (“Bill of Rights”)
Salem, 1692 is how far back in time some women in Canada want to take us.
By exploiting a high-profile case like Mr. Gomeshi’s trial, and the help of corrupt, tax-based mainstream media, some women are trying to remove due process and send us straight back to the Middle Ages.
We have been brought up to believe that religion is the enemy and atheism is the cure. Religion does not only come under the name of Islam or Christianity. Replace the word “religion” with feminism, communism, and so on. Religion is any type of totalitarian belief system based on dogmas, censorship, propaganda and indoctrination of children. It is directly opposed to individual freedom. It is collectivist in nature and manifests itself with the alteration of the meaning of words and ends up with the complete removal of human rights. We are marching at a frightening speed towards slavery. And the worst thing is that it’s happening right before our eyes, but since we are blinded by the media and years of indoctrination in public schools, we don’t realize it and most of us even welcome the loss of our freedom.
What can I do to stop this?
Please read the verbatim conversation between Giles Corey and his accusers during the trial in 1692 (He ended up pressed to death for refusing to admit he was guilty). This is what we are seeing today. This is where we’re headed.
The Deposistion of Mercy lewes agged about 19 years who testi-
fieth and saith that on the 14’th April 1692 I saw the Apperishtion
of Giles Cory com and afflect me urging me to writ in his book and
so he contineued most dreadfully to hurt me by times beating me
& almost braking my back tell the day of his examination being the
19th April and then allso dureing the time of his examination he did
afflect and tortor me most greviously: and also several times sence
urging me vehemently to writ in his book and I veryly beleve in my
heart that Giles Cory is a dreadfull wizzard for sence he had ben in
prison he or his Apperance has com and most greviously tormented
(The Examination of Giles Cory)
The examination of GILES CORY, at a Court at Salem
Village, held by John Hathorn and Jona. Curwin, Esqrs.
April 19, 1692.
Giles Cory, you are brought before authority upon high
suspicion of sundry acts of witchcraft; now tell us the
truth in this matter.
I hope through the goodness of God I shall, for that
matter I never had no hand in, in my life.
Which of you have seen this man hurt you?
Mary Wolcott, Mercy Lewis, Ann Putnam, jr. and Abi- gail Williams affirmed he had hurt them
Hath he hurt you too? speaking to Elizabeth Hubbard.
She going to answer was prevented by a fit.
Benjamin Gold, hath he hurt you?
I have seen him several times, and been hurt after it,
but cannot affirm that it was he.
Hath he brought the book to any of you?
Mary Wolcott and Abigail Williams and others affirmed
he had brought the book to them.
Giles Cory, they accuse you, or your appearance, of
hurting them, and bringing the book to them. What do
you say? Why do you hurt them? Tell us the truth.
I never did hurt them.
It is your appearance hurts them, they charge you; tell
us what you have done.
I have done nothing to damage them.
Have you ever entered into contract with the devil?
I never did.
What temptations have you had?
I never had temptations in my life.
What, have you done it without temptations?
What was the reason (said goodwife Bibber) that you
were frighted in the cow-house? and then the questionist
was suddenly seized with a violent fit.
Samuel Braybrook, goodman Bibber, and his daughter,
testified that he had told them this morning that he was
frighted in the cow-house.
Cory denied it.
This was not your appearance but your person, and you
told them so this morning: why do you deny it?
What did you see in the cow-house?
I never saw nothing but my cattle.
Divers witnessed that he told them he was frighted.
Well, what do you say to these witnesses? What was
it frighted you?
I do not know that ever I spoke the word in my life.
Tell the truth, what was it frighted you?
I do not know any thing that frighted me.
All the afflicted were seized now with fits, and troubled
with pinches. Then the court ordered his hands to be tied.
What, is it not enough to act witchcraft at other times,
but must you do it now in the face of authority?
I am a poor creature, and cannot help it.
Upon the motion of his head again, they had their heads
and necks afflicted.
Why do you tell such wicked lies against witnesses, that
heard you speak after this manner, this very morning?
I never saw any thing but a black hog.
You said that you were stopt once in prayer; what
I cannot tell; my wife came towards me and found fault
with me for saying living to God and dying to sin.
What was it frighted you in the barn?
I know nothing frighted me there.
Why here are three witnesses that heard you say so
I do not remember it.
Thomas Gold testified that he heard him say, that he
knew enough against his wife, that would do her business.
What was it that you knew against your wife?
Why that of living to God, and dying to sin.
The Marshal and Bibber’s daughter confirmed the same,
that he said he could say that that would do his wife’s
I have said what I can say to that.
What was that about your ox?
I thought he was hipt.
What ointment was that your wife had when she was
seized? You said it was ointment she made by major Gidney’s direction.
He denied it, and said she had it of goody Bibber, or
from her direction.
Goody Bibber said it is not like that ointment.
You said you knew, upon your own knowledge, that she
had it of major Gidney.
He denied it.
Did not you say, when you went to the ferry with your
wife, you would not go over to Boston now, for you should
come yourself the next week?
I would not go over, because I had not money.
The Marshal testified he said as before.
One of his hands was let go, and several were afflicted.
He held his head on one side, and then the heads of seve-
ral of the afflicted were held on one side. He drew in
his cheeks, and the cheeks of some of the afflicted were
John Bibber and his wife gave testimony concerning
some temptations he had to make away with himself.
How doth this agree with what you said, that you had
I meant temptation to witchcraft.
If you can give away to self murther, that will make way
to temptation to witchcraft.
Note. There was witness by several, that he said he
would make away with himself, and charge his death up-
on his son.
Goody Bibber testified that the said Cory called said
Bibber’s husband, damn’d, devilish rogue.
Other vile expressions testified in open court by several
Salem Village, April 19, 1692.
Mr. Samuel Parris being desired to take in writing the
examination of Giles Cory, delivered it in; and upon hear-
ing the same, and seeing what we did see at the time of his
examination, together with the charge of the afflicted persons
against him, we committed him to their majesties’ gaol.
Robert Calef, More Wonders of the Invisible World…, London (1700), reprinted in (Salem: John D. & T.C. Cushing, Jr. Cushing & Appleton, 1823): 310-312.