by Nichole Fratoni, West Virginia University

Students will learn about the Salem Witch Trials and will begin to understand the reasons for why the trials happened.




Picture it: The year is 1692.  You are living in Salem Village in Massachusetts.  Many people are experiencing poverty.  No one is living comfortably.  Everyone you know is afraid of anything that might be evil.  And no one trusts any one else.

Suddenly, two girls accuse an Indian slave of using witchcraft on them! Now, the entire village is terrified that Satan might be living among them.  The accused slave confesses and provides the names of two other women who are also "witches".  The panic kept growing and growing.  Before people calmed down, they hanged 19 men and women for practicing witchcraft and accused hundreds of others.