October 31, 2007
So what is everyone's costume this year? On second thought maybe I don't want to know... Whatever costume you wore(or lack there of), you can always count on a bunch of people parading around as witches for the night. It's a relatively simple costume, all you really need is a pointy hat and abracadabra! you're ready to go out and party. Sure, it's trendy to go all Harry Potter these days but back in the 1600s life for colonial women accused to be witches wasn't all fun and (quidditch) games...
I decided to do a little research on the Salem Witch Trials in honor of one of my favorite Halloween movies, "Hocus Pocus". It's a crime if you've never seen this Disney movie, it's definitely one of the best Halloween movies of our generation so you should check it out. If you're interested you can read a summary of the plot here
Anyway, back to the Salem Witch Trials... "The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings before local magistrates, and county court trials to prosecute people accused of witchcraft in Essex, Suffolk and Middlesex Counties of colonial Massachusetts, in 1692 and 1693...Between February 1692 and May 1693, over 150 people were arrested and imprisoned, with even more accused who were not formally pursued by the authorities. The two courts convicted 29 people of the capital felony of witchcraft, 19 of whom (fourteen women, five men) were hanged." To read the full article look it up here, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salem_witch_trials#The_witch_cake_and_the_touch_test
Basically the Salem Witch Trials were just the result of human ignorance and fear. People didn't know how to explain certain phenomena so they tried to support their fears by declaring that the "odd" women and sometimes men in society had satanic, magical powers and had to be stopped. Women's rights were basically nonexistant in colonial times so of course the women who were accused of being witches had no chance of being proven innocent. Once the hysteria began it spread like wildfire throughout Salem and very soon after many innocent people were killed for no reason at all...
Enough of the negative stuff, Halloween is meant to be a fun holiday, at least by todays standards. I hope everyone had tons of candy, not a lot of homework, and went out and celebrated one of the best holidays of the year!
Posted by khenkels at October 31, 2007 09:03 PM