The Witches of Salem Village

October 3, 2012
By liv_bianchi BRONZE, Danville, California
liv_bianchi BRONZE, Danville, California
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

“I am not a witch. I am not a witch.” This was the mantra that I repeated to myself as I stared at the cold, iron chains that kept me in my jail cell. Was it just earlier today that I had been riding my horse to go to the market? It seemed like an eternity ago. I think back to the incident at the tavern, and still refuse to believe the accusations of the young girls. I was just minding my own business, stopping in to get a refreshment after the hot ride home from the market. I saw the afflicted girls sitting in the corner, and sat at the bar quietly watching. Yes, it is true that I wanted to see one of their little outbursts, but I never imagined that they would have ever accused ME of being their tormentor. Their attacks have been going on for nearly a month, and it all started with little Betty Parris. The entire town was astounded that the Reverend’s own daughter would be possessed.
I have to share a jail cell next to Bridget Bishop. I went to her trial, and witnessed all of the people claiming to have seen her specter at night. I shiver as I think of how it is now I that people will testify against. I also see Martha Cory and Rebecca Nurse in their cells. It is ludicrous that people would accuse them of being witches, for I know them well, and they are God-loving women. I wonder what my family will do when they hear the news of the accusations against me. I hope that they come to the trial, and put in a good word. I fall asleep thinking of my upcoming trial tomorrow, and the idea of a verdict of anything but innocent hangs over my head like a rain cloud. I am roused by the sound of the constable unlocking my cell. He hauls me onto my feet, and we make our way to the courthouse, which is really the church. As I enter, I spot a few friends, but they avoid looking me in the eyes. Then, the accusations come. Some people claim to have seen my specter at night, like the other condemned witches, while others say they saw me flying from the Parris’s household. One woman even claims that my specter bit her, and everyone can clearly see the teeth marks that line her arm. One of the afflicted girls suddenly cries, “I’ve been stabbed!” She claims my specter plunged a knife into her side as she pulls a bloody blade from her skin. I look around anxiously, knowing that she is lying. Suddenly a young boy steps forward, saying that the blade is his, and he gave it to one of the girls yesterday. I wipe the sweat from my face in relief. Then the judges begin to pepper me with questions. They ask me as if they already know I am guilty. “Why do you torment these girls?”, “How long have you been a witch?”, and “Why won’t you confess?” were just a few of the numerous questions that I had no answer to. When asked for my confession before the court, I calmly said, “I am not a witch.” I know in my heart that what these people are claiming is wrong. Why will no one help me? It is even more horrible the second time the constable locks the shackles into place. I was sent to jail again to await my trial. I hope and pray the truth of my innocence will shine through all of these despicable lies. At my trial the next day, the judges ask how I plead. “Not guilty”, I reply, trying to sound as though nothing could harm me. Just as I say that, the shrieking starts. The afflicted girls scream and moan with every move I make, claiming that they are being pinched and stabbed by my specter. The judges look impressed by their show as I try not to move a muscle. The trial goes from bad to worse when the constable comes forward and says he found a “witches tit”, a purple spot, on my arm. They say that this is where Satan can enter the body. Then Abigail Hobbs, a confessed witch, says she saw me drinking blood at the devil’s sacrament. I feel as though a hole has been punched through my body, and I know that the judges are thinking that this “evidence”, will suffice in proving my guilt. Just when I thought all hope was lost, my son steps forward with a little scrap of paper in his hand. A wave of relief washes over me as the judges read this petition that forty of my neighbors have signed, claiming my innocence. I almost jump for joy when the judges stand and say, “Not guilty.”
As I am coming to believe this nightmare is over, the shrieks begin again. I stare at the girls in dismay as a sound that is almost otherworldly fills the court. The judges then reconsider their verdict, and when they return they all look upon me with grim faces. I know what is coming. “Guilty”, they declare as the courtroom erupts with chaos. I am hauled off to the jail for the third time, but I know this time will be my last. On the morning of my hanging, I watch the sunrise, because I long to see something beautiful before my death. I look around the jail at the others in chains. They don’t belong here, and I know it. Salem is going crazy with accusations, and the constable is ready to throw anyone in jail for just the slightest of reasons. The constable comes to collect me one last time, and after we make our way to the execution hill, I am forced to watch the other “witches”, hang before me. I gaze down at my family as an act of farewell, and try to remain calm as the bucket I am standing on gets kicked out from under me. Death comes quickly, and with death comes the silence of yet another innocent person.

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This article is based on the Salem With Trials of 1692.

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