Visiting Salem Massachusetts during the month of October gave me the opportunity to observe some very curious behavior. The “Salem Witch Museum 1692,” for example, hosts an anamatronic theatre that illustrates the Salem Witchcraft trials as they were supposed to have occurred in 1692.. Its a dramatized version of the Salem witchcraft trials with a “Hang a Witch and then proceed to the gift shop and purchase a commemorative Mug or tee-shirt type of event.”

There is also a cemetery that has headstones commemorating those who were convicted of witchcraft and hung.. The stones read “HANGED” with a name of the accused witch and the date the hanging occurred. This cemetery is also in the village of Salem where most of the tourism resides. I did a little investigating and discovered that approximately 3/4 of a mile outside the busy little village of Salem is road that leads up a hill. It believed that on that hill are the grounds where nineteen people were hung. Beneath the hill on a separate lot now lies a Walgreens Store. Where bodies of these dead witches are buried seems to be a very well kept secret. Most people believe that the families of the victims came for their loved ones and took their bodies with them. Most of the families of the executed witches disappeared. Some moved away while its rumored that others simply went into hiding.

Halloween is a very popular time of year for witches. As a matter of fact it is so popular that people who know very little about witches and or witchcraft dress up in black witches costumes and pretend to portray them. Halloween is now celebrated  in several countries around the globe.

The word “Halloween,” has its origins in the Catholic Church. It comes from “All Hallows Eve.” November 1, “All Hallows Day” (or “All Saints Day”), and is a Catholic day of observance in honor of saints. But, in the 5th century BC, in Celtic Ireland, summer officially ended on October 31. The holiday was called Samhain (pronounced sow-in), which means “end of summer”, the Celtic New year. Samhain is the witches highest holiday and their New Year.

The witch hunt reached its peak in Europe during the 1500″s and early 1600’s. Many victims, who were mostly women, were falsely accused of witchcraft. Many accused witches were tortured until they confessed. Then they faced imprisonment, banishment, or execution. Some were banished and others were executed.

The Salem witch hunt began in 1692.when a group of village girls became fascinated with the occult. A black slave named, Tituba, introduced them to stories about magic and the old ways of the West Indian culture. Her stories of  rituals and spells were supposed to be entertainment for the girls. They had no radio, television or internet back in those days. Storytelling served as a popular way to pass the time. Some of the local girls began to act strangely, uttering weird sounds and screaming. Suspicions that witches was responsible for their behavior became the norm.. These suspicions led to the arrest of three women. More arrests followed, and mass trials were held. About 150 people were imprisoned on witchcraft charges. Nineteen men and women were convicted and hanged as witches. Giles Corey refused to plead either innocent or guilty to the witchcraft charge and was pressed to death with large stones. Tituba remained imprisoned for two years but was never executed for the crime of witchcraft. She was a slave and slaves are not considered U S citizens, therefore the law in reference to execution of witches did not apply to her.

There are several factors that could have contributed to the general mass hysteria of the Salem Witch Hunts. One of them could have been ergot. The Puritans made bread with rye, and ergot  could have contributed to some of the strange behavior exhibited by the witnesses and the accusers. Ergot is a plant disease that is caused by the fungus Claviceps purpurea. Ergot thrives in a cold winter followed by a wet spring. The victims of ergot might suffer paranoia and hallucinations, twitches and spasms, cardiovascular trouble, and stillborn children.These outbreaks were blamed on witchcraft. Ergot also seriously weakens the immune system.

The witchcraft scare lasted about a year. In 1693, the people still in jail on witchcraft charges were freed. In 1711, the Massachusetts colonial legislature made payments to the families of the witch hunt victims. By the late 17th century, the witchcraft was well underground and it was illegal to be a Witch.. It wasn’t until 1951 that the last of these laws was repealed, and modern witchcraft surfaced.


Love and Light, Psychic Cyndee