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Do you know the history and the truth about the Salem, MA witch trials? I have a few questions Im Wiccan too

My husband told me they would throw the "Witchs" into the water and if they didnt drown they would hang them. Is this true, Any real articles/website that tell the truth? I asked my husband and he said it is true, its history. I was like um ok i dont believe you. Of course i come on cafemom to ask you and i dont believe him i never do lol and he hates it but most of the time hes not telling the truth not because hes lying because he just doesnt know and gets mad at me.

oh and tonight at 9pm E/P on the travel channel is the new Episode of Ghost Adventures about Salem, Ma witch trial!! Dont forget!

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 4:31 PM on Feb. 18, 2011 in Religious Debate

Answers (23)
  • Well I don't have proof, but I was taught that in middle school.

    Answer by idaspida at 4:33 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

  • yea i was told in school that if they sank to the bottom and drown they werent witches and if they floated they were. which didnt make any sense to me but ok. and of course burned them at the stake. hmm what else did they day they did to them not sure but those two i do remember they tortured those poor people pretty bad. and if im correct it was during the "revival" of religon when pastors and churches were scareing the people with gods wrath to get the church attendance up and put fear into people.
    i didnt know that was on tv tonite ill have to watch it.
    im not wiccan but it all fasinates me.

    Answer by laura970 at 4:40 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

  • They would hang them, because if they survived drowning in the water that meant they were a witch, if they didn't survive,...oops! they weren't actually one! But they died anyway! Horrible stuff. If you looked at someone the wrong way, had a different toned voice...or stupid stuff like that they'd accuse you!

    Ps. I'll be watching Ghost Adventures, me and hub are addicted to that show lol

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:44 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

  • I know it was one commonly used in the Witch hunts in Europe but I am not sure if it was also used in Salem (though it would not surprise me) the ones I am finding regarding Salem incude the "Witch's Mark or Satan's Mark" which was a mole or freckle on body was an indicator (anywhere really but some reports state in private areas such as breasts, buttocks or pubic region) The "Touching test" In which case the accused would touch the one they afflicted with "fits" and if the fits stopped it was "proof" they caused it. As well as torture methods made to break the witch and gain a confession such as "pressing" them by placing weights on the body (which often lead to death) The "Sink or swim" test was another such method of torture as weights were tied to the ankles of the accused though it's use in Salem I am unsure of.


    Answer by KristiS11384 at 4:50 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

  • Generally speaking though once one was accused of being a witch they were almost all found guilty and hung, though a few managed to die in prison while awaiting their trial or before confessing....

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 5:01 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

  • I remember learning some where that some now believe that there was a virus or mold issue that lead to seizures... it was the seizures that made people think they were witches.


    Answer by Anonymous at 5:13 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

  • I live a few towns from Salem MA, and know the history pretty well. They would test the accused with various tests, one was called the "sink" test. They would tie rocks around the accused and throw them in the water, if they sank, they were innocent, if they floated, they were guilty and hanged. So stupid!


    Answer by Linda1012 at 5:15 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

  • Historian Laurie Winn Carlson has advanced the idea that encephalitis lethargica is the explanation for the symptoms of the afflicted in New England during the 17th century, which ultimately resulted in the Salem witch trials. Carlson writes: "By comparing the symptoms reported by seventeenth-century colonists with those of patients affected by the encephalitis lethargica epidemic of the early twentieth century, a pattern of symptoms emerges [which] supports the hypothesis that the witch-hunts of New England were a response to unexplained physical and neurological behaviors resulting from an epidemic of encephalitis."[12]

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:15 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

  • I know there were a lot of different tests people did on people who were thought to be witches. one of the tests was called the floating test (it was also sometimes called Trial by Ordeal/Ordeal of cold water. theres an Ordeal of hot water too). it was believed that If a witch was thrown into water(or immersed into a vat of water or pond) the water would 'reject' them and they would float. an accused who sank (and usually drowned) was considered innocent. so pretty much anyone who floated was seen as a witch then they were executed in another way, usually hanging or, more rarely, burning. I'm not sure if they did the floating or ordeal by cold water test in Salem MA but they did do it a lot in other places in the world.

    Answer by flower_angel at 5:30 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

  • Ok, this is from my textbook and I hope I remember this correctly. None of that happened in Salem. It started with an Indian house servant who was accused of witchcraft by the children basically just as something to do. The men took it seriously. She then was forced to divulge who else was witches. So she made some stuff up. To her lying was nothing. In her culture it was allowed and the gods would not look down upon it (whereas the Christians thought it would damn your soul if you lied). The lie just grew and grew and something like 13 people were hanged and 1 crushed to death and 1 dog killed too for being a witch. Those that admitted to it were not killed. Confessions were procured through interviews and court proceedings.

    Answer by purpleducky at 6:05 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

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