As far as my delvings into the Salem Witch Trials (and the trials that occurred nearly 300 years prior in Europe), I’ve found out some interesting things that I wanted to share with you all.
First things first: it’s important to note that the first witch trial to happen in the US was in Charleston, MA in 1648. The ones in Salem Village (NOT the seaport, Salem Town) didn’t arise until 1692.
The last people to die during the witch trials was in the early 1700s. Eight people were hanged. I noted this especially, considering that it’s been basically lost to history. Especially since those who were hanged were basically wiped from existance by the Purituan community. Well…let’s just say that here, not all of them weren’t witches…
Gallows Hill. The hill where many victims of the trial were executed. I’m not 100% sure if the hill’s still there (probably), but let’s just say, for now, that it is.
As for finding evidence if a person was a witch, I heard of a book, called “The Hammer of Witches” was written in 1486. It was sort of a “Witch Hunting for Dummies” kinda deal. One of them was the searching for, and finding, of something called “witches teat”. The people believed that it was a mark of the Devil, and that the witch would suck in the souls of their animal (and demonic) familiars. The accused witch would be stripped and shaved thoroughly (it was also a strong belief that a witch harnessed her power through her hair. The longer the hair, the more power a witch had). If a mark was found, they would then try to prick it with a pin or needle. If the woman felt pain, or if the mark bled, then she would be deemed innocent. If she felt nothing, and there was no pain, then…well…that wouldn’t be good news for her…witch or no.
I still have a bit to look into, but I’m almost ready to start writing the Episode! Tomorrow’s Easter Sunday, and of course, I work it. Hoping to be back on Monday. Have a Happy Easter, everyone!