Many know of the Salem Witch Trials, but what actually happened?

Quite simply, during the late 1600s in the puritan village of Salem, a young woman became ill. Given limited medial knowledge for the time, the doctors simply could not identify a cause for her state. Clearly, she was possessed and a witch!

Shortly thereafter, in an admitted oversimplification, the illness spread to others in the village, spreading with it the hysteria of witchcraft. Those in support of the suspected witches were also considered to be possessed by the devil. Although infamous for being the largest case of suspected witchcraft in the present-day US, only twenty died from convictions (which — admittedly terrible — is considerably smaller in magnitude than many recall).

As a result of this event, countless individuals make the annual trek to Salem, Massachusetts for annual October “Haunted Happenings” events and to spend Halloween evening in the town known for witchcraft and mischief.

Interested in the Salem Witch Trials? The Salem Witch Museum provides a great synopsis of the events; online, you can find more via this timeline.