Salem Witch Trials

Events

The Afflicted Girls

January 1692

Group of young girls " the afflicted girls" come down with an illness after fortune telling with Tituba the house keeper the girls claim to hallucinate and have body contorting spasms and convulsions

Doctor Claims Girls "Bewitched"

February 1692

February, Samuel Parris called for a doctor, who is believed to be Dr. William Griggs, to examine the girls. The doctor was unable to find anything physically wrong with them and suggested they may be bewitched.

Titubas confession

March 1692

March 1st, Tituba, Sarah Good and Sarah Osburn were arrested and examined. During Tituba’s examination, she made a shocking confession that she had been approached by Satan, along with Sarah Good and Sarah Osburn, and they had all agreed to do his bidding as witches.

Revenge and Greed

April 1692

Many historians believe the girl’s parents, particularly Thomas Putnam and Reverend Samuel Parris, were egging the girls on and encouraging them to accuse specific people in the community that they didn’t like in an act of revenge.

First Naysayer

May 1692

A local farmer John Proctor, who scoffed at the idea of witchcraft in Salem and called the young girls scam artists, He and his pregnant wife were later accused of witchcraft and hanged

First Hanged

June 1692

Bridget was accused by five of the afflicted girls, Abigail Williams, Ann Putnam Jr., Mercy Lewis, Mary Walcott and Elizabeth Hubbard, who stated she had physically hurt them and tried to make them sign a pact with the devil.

During her trial, Bishop repeatedly defended herself, stating “I am innocent, I know nothing of it, I have done no witchcraft …. I am as innocent as the child unborn…” She was Hanged June 10th 1692

More executions of the innocent

July 1692

Five more people were hanged in July, one of which was Rebecca Nurse. Rebecca Nurse’s execution was a pivotal moment in the Salem Witch Trials. Nurse’s execution on July 19th, the residents of Salem started to seriously question the validity of the trials.

John Proctor and others hanged

August 1692

The clergy later held a meeting, on August 1, to discuss the trials but were not able to help Proctor before his execution. Proctor’s wife managed to escape execution because she was pregnant, but Proctor was hanged on August 19 along with five other people.

Giles Corey is Pressed to Death

September 1692

Corey was tortured for three days in a field near Howard Street until he finally died on September 19. His death was gruesome and cruel and strengthened the growing opposition to the Salem Witch Trials.5 others hanged

Spectral Evidence Unreliable

October 1692

On October 29, Phips dismissed the Court of Oyer and Terminer. The 52 remaining people in jail were tried in a new court, spectral evidence was not allowed, most of the remaining prisoners were found not guilty or released due to a lack of real evidence.