In the Seventeenth Century, Fall was never a particularly joyous time for the residents of Salem Village in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. They had a lot to deal with: between unstable production of crops and increasing conflicts with Native Americans due to the rate at which the European population was increasing and the increasing internal strife among the settlers themselves things were pretty much touch and go for the European outcasts who were struggling to establish a hard-line Theocracy in the New World (Think Lebanon with out the rocket-propelled grenades). Almost as if they were looking for new ways to make life brutal for themselves the Witch Hunts of the period were fast reaching a fever pitch. It would be nice to think that the whole Witch thing just had to work its way out of their systems but that wasn’t really the case. The judiciary finally found its footing and placed some limits on what would be considered as prima facie evidence of witchcraft. Spectral evidence was no longer allowed as proof of witchcraft by the end of the century, which was a huge leap forward for these people. However, on the 22nd
people were hanged for witchcraft. Those hung were mostly women, with a couple of men tossed in for balance I suppose. Several women escaped the noose on that day because they were pregnant. Rest assured however, the good people of Salem fully intended for them to be hung after they had given birth. How thoughtful a gesture is that? On the bright side, these would be the last executions for witchcraft in the United States
and today forms the basis for an extremely lucrative tourist industry in modern Salem, Massachusetts.