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Washington DC Photo Gallery Salem Witch Trials

Salem Witch Trials

Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692, was the home of a Puritan community with a strict moral code. Many residents believed in and feared witchcraft. Consequently, when two young girls fell into trances and had seizures that doctors could not explain, many people in the town said witchcraft was to blame. On March 1, 1692, authorities charged three women, Sarah Goode, Sarah Osborne, and a Native American slave woman named Tituba, with practicing witchcraft. Tituba confessed under pressure from court officials, and her confession ignited a hunt for witches that left 19 men and women hanged, one man pressed to death, and over 150 more people in prison awaiting a trial.

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Fear the witch!

A statue of a witch (or is it a real person?) stands guard in Salem, Massachusetts, warning all who come into town.

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Witches pretending to be women

Two modern day witches greet passerby on location where the accused were summarily tried for crimes related to witchcraft in the 1600's.

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Witches will say anything to keep from being killed

During a reenactment of the Salem Witch Trials, this witch proclaims her alleged innocence before being tortured and killed for her obvious guilt. Witches can be seen a mile away...

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Salem Witch Trial reenactment

Basically the only legal precedent needed to accuse someone of being a witch in 1692 in Massachusetts was to say "she's a witch."
The northeastern United States was not a hotbed of sterling legal precedent back in the day.

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Cry innocent!

A woman is put on mock-trial during a reenactment of the Salem Witch Trials in Salem, MA, put on by the performance group History Alive

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Morose passerby in Massachusetts

A lone woman contemplates the tomb stones of some people killed for being accused of practicing witchcraft, unjustly, during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692-1693 in Massachusetts

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Salem head stone

"Here lie interred the remains of Mr. John Hathorne son of Captain Joseph Hathorne & Grandson to the Honourable John Hathorne Ob Feb 6th 1750"

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American gravestone from 1692

Here lyeth buried V body of Captain Richard More aged 84 years Died 1692. A Mayflower Pilgrim.

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Giles Corey, Pressed to Death, September 19, 1692

A white rose is placed on the memorial dedicated to Giles Corey, a Salem, Massachusetts resident during the 1600's. Giles refused to enter a plea when he was put on trial for practicing witchcraft, so the powers that be placed stones of increasing...

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Memorial Marker - Rebecca Nurse, Hanged, July 19, 1692

Memorial marker located in Salem, Massachusetts with the inscription: Rebecca Nurse, Hanged, July 19, 1692. Rebecca was one of the unfortunate ones not acquitted of being a witch.

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Roger Conant - Founder of Salem

A couple stop to admire the giant statue of Roger Conant in Salem Massachusetts. Conant is credited with being the founder of Salem in the 1600's.

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Statue of Roger Conant

Roger Conant (c. 1592 – 1679) was the leader of the company of fishermen who founded Salem, Massachusetts (then called Naumkeag) in 1626. He was later superseded by the governor sent by the Massachusetts Bay Company, John Endicott.

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Roger Conant plaque on statue

Roger Conant
Born 1592-Died 1679
The First Settler of Salem, 1626
“I was a means, through grace assisting me, to stop the flight of those few that then were here with me, and that by my utter denial to go away with them, who would...

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Nathanial Hawthorne

Nathanial Hawthorne was an American short story writer and novelist. Although he was born Nathanial "Hathorne" he changed his name to "Hawthorne" as he decided the extra "W" would dissociate him from family members whom participated in the Salem Witch...

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Kids will be kids

Children playing in Salem - ironically it was overheard the boys had jokingly decided the girl in the tree was a fan of witchcraft and they were "stoning" her with acorns.
All in good fun.

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