Read the story below entitled "Witchcraft" and underline the names of all of the people mentioned. Then put the Information in the story into the outline provided. Exchange the outlines with a partner, and from your partner's outline write the story


In 1692 the charge of witchcraft was leveled against people from across the Massachusetts Bay Colony. By the time the witch trials had passed, nineteen people were hanged and one was crushed to death . The Witchcraft hysteria began in Salem Village, now Danvers, but ended in Salem which was the site of the pretrial hearings, the trials, and the executions. Bridget Bishop was the first to be hanged on June 10, 1692, and Giles Corey was the only one crushed to death on September 19, 1692.

Those who brought the accusations were young and easily influenced girls such as Mary Warren and Elizabeth (Betty) Parris. The reasons for their behavior have been debated for years, and several theories have been put forward - everything from the girls having eaten a particular mold in the rye bread to simple malice or boredom.

Among the judges involved in the questioning of the accused were Justices John Hathorne, Bartholomew Gedney, Samuel Sewell, and Jonathan Corwin The Reverends Cotton Mather, Increase Mather, and Nicholas Noyes also participated in the questioning. Because of their lack of enthusiasm for the trials, the Reverend John Higginson and Jonathan Corwin each had a member of his family accused.

Several of those who suffered because of the taint of witchcraft, but survived, were Phillip English, the wealthiest man in Salem who had to leave town; Dorcus Good, the imprisoned four year old daughter of Sarah Good who was later released and lived into adulthood unable to care for herself; Elizabeth Proctor, the accused and arrested wife of John Proctor who was himself hanged; and Sarah Cloyce, the third of three sisters who were charged and arrested. The other two sisters - Rebecca Nurse and Mary Easty - were executed.

The entire horror came to an end in 1693 when Governor Sir William Phips issued a general pardon to all those who remained accused of witchcraft.

Witchcraft: the outline

  1. The beginnings

  2. The accusations

  3. The power players

  4. Others who suffered

  5. The end

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