Saturday, August 25, 2012

Witches! The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem

How do you explain a sudden illness or broken jug?  What was your neighbor muttering as she walked away giving you a strange look?  Why did your cow suddenly begin to twitch and convulse?  The answer, at least for the people of Salem, was witchcraft!

This fascinating book tells the story of the Salem witch trials beginning with two sick little girls and all the horrifying events to follow.  This story is compelling and succinct detailing the accusations, the eventual trials, and the "evidence" that condemned people to death.  This was mainly spectral evidence that only the afflicted could see.

The girls saw spirits and birds who pecked and pinched and stopped their breath, and the courts were only too happy to believe them.

The accused were housed in filthy disease-filled prisons while they awaited trail where they were expected to pay rent and provide their own food.

This frenzy was caused by a fear of some unearthly power, but, as Rosalyn Schanzer describes, the real horror was the hysteria of ordinary people.

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