10 Tests For Guilt at the Salem Witch Trials

by Ryan Thomas

Rhetoric is only as potent as its source material – this is why any allusion to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 is so effective. What comes immediately to mind is the hideous and completely unfound legal proceedings – based mostly on superstition, irrational paranoia, Puritanism-fueled mass hysteria, and deception–which resulted in 19 wrongful executions, each one hanged, burned, or drowned for some ill-fated finger-pointing. The imagery evoked is just as barbaric and painful as the means by which these accused “witches” were tried and ultimately “proven” guilty. (In actuality, most of the “afflicted” were just suffering from some mental illness medical science hadn’t quite caught up to at the time, “evil” being amongst the worst know epidemics.) Here are ten ways their verdict was ascertained:

Keep Reading: 10 Tests For Guilt at the Salem Witch Trials.

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