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Salem Witch Trials: Home

A guide to primary and secondary sources for the Salem Witch Trials.

Books

Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft

Six Women of Salem: The Untold Story of the Accused and Their Accusers in the Salem Witch Trials

Satan and Salem: The Witch-Hunt Crisis of 1692

Salem: Place, Myth, and Memory

Salem-Village Witchcraft: A Documentary Record of Local Conflict in Colonial New England

Image Gallery

"Examination of a Witch" Thompkins H. Matteson, 1853

Source: University of Virginia

"Witchcraft at Salem Village."

Source: University of Virginia

Tituba by John W. Ehninger, 1902

Source: History of Massachusetts Blog

Salem Witch House

Source: Wikipedia

Aerial View of Salem, MA

Source: Vogue

The Crucible on Broadway, 2016

Source: Playbill.com

History

The Salem Witch Trials occurred in and near Salem, MA around 1692. 19 people were executed by hanging, while one was crushed to death. Some of the most popular explanations for the behavior of those "afflicted" include a childish game that went too far, land disputes, and what seems to be one of the most prominent theories, hallucinogens in the food.  The ordeal can be described as a case of guilty until proven innocent, but very often, that proof never came. Many of the women who were accused were outcasts in their community. They were unmarried, childless, or participated in activities that Puritan society deemed sinful or unnatural.