When one thinks of witches, a few familiar images come to mind. A long black dress, a crooked pointy had green skin, a wart on the nose, a cackling older woman hunched over a cauldron full of bubbling brew, and public executions.
Stories of witches have existed since time immemorial. Ancient cultures had their myths of demented female figures wielding dark powers and courting demonic presences.
These witch myths were popularized through legends, fables, plays, and operas and eventually came to a bloody head when the puritan pilgrims of Salem, Massachusetts, believed that witches were everywhere.
None were more accusatory than one Abigail Williams. Despite being just a young girl, she had an eye for evil and sent over a dozen people in the late 1600s to deaths by hanging, burning, drowning, and bleeding just for saying that they might be involved in the dark arts. All they needed for execution was a little girl’s certainty.
10 Old Salem
Salem is one of America’s oldest established townships. It was settled in 1626 and continuously expanded throughout the years, overtaking a Native American trading depo as the English pilgrims made their way inland.
The town was primarily occupied by a group known as the Puritans, who had rigorous and traditional beliefs in the Christian God and Christian demons and the presence of Satan.
9 Spirit Seekers
The settlers of Salem established their city on firm roots of faith. They weren’t afraid to exile or kill anyone that got in the way of their worship or who defied the common creed the rest of the villagers enforced.
As such, any mentions of witchcraft were taken very seriously, and its definition was comprehensive.