Tuesday, June 10, 2008
On June 10, 1692, Bridget Bishop was executed on Gallows Hill in Salem. She was the first to be found guilty by the Court of Oyer and Terminer, which was established in May to try the witchcraft cases.
The Salem witch hysteria lasted for ten months of 1692, beginning in January when Reverend Parris' nine-year old daughter, Betty, fell ill. Other girls fell ill in the coming weeks, and the village physician deems the children "bewitched." The children are persuaded to reveal the names of people who are bewitching them, and those who are named are examined and arrested. By the end of the hysteria, nineteen people were executed for witchcraft. One man, Giles Corey, was pressed to death for refusing to stand trial. More than 150 men and women from throughout the region were accused and imprisoned.
Today we remember the victims at the Salem Witch Trials Memorial, located behind the Charter Street Burying Point. The memorial was dedicated in 1992 by Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, and it stands as a reminder of the lessons of tolerance and compassion learned from the Salem witch trails.
For more information on the Salem Witch Trials, visit the Salem Witch Museum, the Witch House, the Witch Dungeon Museum, the Witch History Museum, or the Salem Wax Museum of Witches & Seafarers. Information from the blog came from the Salem Witch Museum Miscellany.
To view images of the Witch Trials Memorial, visit The City Guide at Salemweb.com