A short story about the Salem Witch Trials, written for a contest. Please R&R!!
|"... They told me if I would not confess I should be put down into the dungeon and would be hanged, but if I would confess I should save my life." - Margaret Jacobs
It all started with those two little girls, Elizabeth and Abigail. They started to act strangely, as if possessed. We were all so scared. We would have done anything to help them, but we were also confused. We tried praying, and fasting, but we knew what was truly going on. It was the work of the Devil. These girls were being controlled by demons!
After much questioning by the good Reverend Samuel Parris, the girls finally confessed who was to blame: three women, witches! In our quiet, God-fearing town of Salem, the Devil had come, perhaps to punish us for some trespass. It was not my place to question why we were being punished, just to know that we were. We knew who was to blame, however. It was those women, those witches. All of this was all their fault!
"I will speak the truth as long as I live." - Dorcas Hoar
Tituba was the first to confess, the Reverend’s own slave. She confessed to seeing the presence of Evil here in our town, as well as to a growing conspiracy of witches. More villagers came forward, admitting to being harmed in some way by Evil. Then more witches were discovered, women and men. They were everywhere in our good community. We found witches in the faithful and righteous upstanding members of the town. We seized all of them and kept them in prison, until we could decide what to do with them.
Our new Governor Phillips, set up a special Court of Oyer and Terminer comprised of seven judges to try the witchcraft cases. The Court decided which of the prisoners were actual witches. The Governor Phillips introduced to us “Spectral Evidence,” which showed that the Devil could disguise itself as an innocent person.
"I can deny it to my dying day." - William Hobbs
The two girls, Elizabeth and Abigail, helped all along. Those two, innocent and pure little girls, had a gift of pointing out Evil. The Lieutenants of the Courts walked through town on a daily basis, searching. The girls would give them names, and they would come charging up to the door of the accused. That’s how it happened with my neighbor, William Hobbs.
I could hear their heavy boots marching up the muddy streets, their hard fists pounding at his door. They yelled out, “William Hobbs. Come out and face us. Evil had descended upon us, and we will not stand for it. God’s Justice shall prevail here.” They hauled him away that day, and they were right in doing so. I could not imagine how I had lived so close to one influenced by the Devil.
"Oh Lord, help me! It is false. I am clear. For my life now lies in your hands...." - Rebecca Nurse
The first session of the new Court of Oyer and Terminer determined its first witch, Bridget Bishop. She was found guilty of witchcraft and was condemned to death. She was hanged in Salem on June 10, the first official execution, and our first triumph over the evil which had flooded our good community.
Some of the townspeople had been opposed to the trials, they even went so far as to sign petitions. They had for some reason believed that some of those convicted were innocent. Such was the trickery of the Devil. We did what had to be done. If the accused were not witches, and were in fact innocent, God would spare their souls.
"I am no witch. I am innocent. I know nothing of it." - Bridget Bishop
The opposition was growing, but we knew that what we were doing was right. We knew that we were doing good for the world. I lost a few of my friends, and that brought me some sadness. The sadness I felt, however, was for their innocence, which was compromised by the Devil. If only they had confessed, their souls would have been free.
It has been months since the girls, Elizabeth and Abigail began to show signs of Evil's presence. Many lives have been ended, but with our help, their souls have been saved.
But, what is this? I hear more footsteps coming up the street. They must be coming for another accused. They are close now, another neighbor of mine perhaps? But they are stopping….at my door…I hear their loud, booming voices, crying out, “Mary Bradbury!” My God! My name! “Mary Bradbury! Come out and face us!”
"I do plead not guilty. I am wholly innocent of such wickedness." - Mary Bradbury
Much of the information, and all of the quotes for this story came from a website I found which list the chronology of the Salem Witch Trials. That website can be found here: