The Salem Witch Trials
From June through September of 1692, fourteen women and five men were hanged in Salem Village on charges of witchcraft, and Martha Carrier was among them. Nearly 150 men, women, and children were imprisoned, and an unknown number perished while they languished in crowded jails for months until the trials were brought to an end. One man was stoned to death in an effort to force him to testify. Children were brought to testify against their parents, or to admit to also being witches, and some were tortured. Many of the accused pled guilty to save themselves from death, and were imprisoned and deprived of their property rights.
How it all began
In the early winter of 1692, 9-year-old Betty Parris and her 11-year-old cousin Abigail Williams, began to have mysterious fits, writhing and contorting in pain, making strange sounds, and claiming they felt as though they were being pricked or pinched. When ...