Saturday, July 25, 2009


Yesterday, I shared a bit about the Salem Witch Trials in 1692. Today, I wanted to let you know a few reasons why one could have been found to be a witch back then.

Do you have any of these traits? If so, you could have been put on trial too.

1. You talk to yourself.
2. You are reclusive.
3. You have eccentric behavior.
4. You have had a dispute with your neighbor or a family in your town.
5. You don't go to church.
6. You don't go to the "right" church.
7. You speak French.
8. You were accused of lying.

If you do any of these things or someone thinks you have done these things, then you could be arrested and brought to trial. You would not be allowed to have a lawyer or witnesses to testify on your behalf.

If you plead innocent and the courts found you guilty (which everyone was found guilty) then you would be hung. If you plead guilty, then your life would be saved but, you would be in prison for life.

Those who were hung were not allowed to be buried in the cemeteries, as witches were not allowed to be buried in consecrated grounds. The family would have to take the body and bury it where no one would find out.

Even after the hysteria was over and the Witch Trials were found to be frauds many still had to stay in jail. Back then, you had to pay for your "room and board" while in jail. Even if you were arrested and found not guilty.

Those who were pour could not afford to pay the fees in order to get out of jail and some even ended up dying in jail.

If you were found guilty of being a witch then chances were good that your spouse would soon stand trial for being a witch also.

Often when we look back in our History we find strange things that we can't understand how people allowed to happen. The real scary thing is we never know when something just as foolish could happen in our time.

I, for one, am happy I didn't live back in 1692 because I fear I would have had to stand trial for being a witch. How about you?

If you were arrest back then and accused of being a witch, how would you have plead?


Pink Princess said...

I'd been found guilty too, lol. I sometimes talk to myself.
I have no idea how I would have pleaded. I would have been found guilty anyways.

GLAD to be living now instead of during those times

Connie said...

I almost qualify, but I do go to church every sunday so that lets me out, sugar! Hah.

Tracey said...

Joanne, your right about all those things and the one thing I find really bizarre is,, you were tortured if you didn't confess and were killed and if you did confess you were killed.. it really was a no win situation.. kind of like the idea if they dunk you and you lived you were a witch, if you were innocent. What a great justice system!???

Jean Tuthill said...

I go to church, too, so that would leave me out. I love Salem, last time I went, was Halloween, You should see it then! But have fun, it's a very interesting place and lots to see!

Brenda Pruitt said...

Yep, I have more than a few of those traits!

Frugalious Living said...

I just stumbled across your blog and love it. I wanted to comment that by all accounts you listed, I would be considered a witch. I think despite the fear I would plead innocent because I could not stand to be imprisoned for something so ridiculous!

Thanks for the great post.

Mold Halethorpe, MD said...

wow thats crazy! I do not know. I think I would have to plead innocent and hope that somehow i got lucky!

<3 Lindsay

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Nope. I honestly do not fit any of those nor would I want to. I have seen a few movies in my lifetime and they were bad enough, but I know a lot of it was possibly truth and worse! I also am glad I live now!
Oh wait...I have thought I would like to change churches! Oh dear!
Yep..glad I live now! :)

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Oh good I grumble to myself at hang me! lol

Glenda said...

Well I surely would have been hung. I have them all. Interesting how fearful people were of others that were considered different.


Tara said...

My guess would be yes. I could definitely fit some of the traits. When I was in High School, we were studying the witch trials for English class and I was one of the 3 that were put through a mock trial. I was found guilty and sentenced to death. It was a bit unsettling even though it was only for play. People can be so cruel to each other.

Donna said...

Very interesting, Joanne! Well, I'm glad to see that black cats weren't on the list (since I have a thing for them! ha ha)... Wonder where that started? You're going to have a blast in Salem!... Donna