What evidence did the judge accept for the Salem witch trials?

“Spectral evidence refers to a witness testimony that the accused person’s spirit or spectral shape appeared to him/her witness in a dream at the time the accused person’s physical body was at another location. It was accepted in the courts during the Salem Witch Trials.

What type of evidence is accepted in Salem witch trials?

Courts relied on three kinds of evidence: 1) confession, 2) testimony of two eyewitnesses to acts of witchcraft, or 3) spectral evidence (when the afflicted girls were having their fits, they would interact with an unseen assailant – the apparition of the witch tormenting them).

What unusual evidence was allowed in the Salem witch trials?

It was virtually impossible to disprove charges of witchcraft in Salem, and defendants were convicted with no evidence other than personal accusations, the presence of a “devil’s mark” on their bodies, or because they failed one of the so-called “witch tests.” The courts accepted spectral evidence, that is, evidence …

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What was the primary evidence introduced in the Salem witch trials?

The Puritans believed physical realities had spiritual causes. For example, if the crops failed, the Devil may have played a role. With this worldview, it was not a stretch for them to accept ‘spectral evidence’ of spirits and visions—which was the primary evidence used as proof of guilt during the Salem Witch Trials.

When was spectral evidence allowed in the Salem witch trials?

Yet, in 1662, Sir Matthew Hale solidified the legal credibility of spectral evidence in witchcraft cases by allowing it in the Bury St. Edmund case in England, thus setting a precedent to be used at Salem in 1692.

What is special evidence?

“Spectral evidence refers to a witness testimony that the accused person’s spirit or spectral shape appeared to him/her witness in a dream at the time the accused person’s physical body was at another location. It was accepted in the courts during the Salem Witch Trials.

When was spectral evidence used?

Spectral evidence is a form of legal evidence based upon the testimony of those who claim to have experienced visions. Such testimony was frequently given during the witch trials of the 16th and 17th centuries.

What were the Salem witches accused of?

The Salem witch trials occurred in colonial Massachusetts between 1692 and 1693. More than 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft—the Devil’s magic—and 20 were executed. Eventually, the colony admitted the trials were a mistake and compensated the families of those convicted.

Who died in Salem witch trials?

According to the city, the memorial opened on the 325th anniversary of the first of three mass executions at the site, when five women were killed: Sarah Good, Elizabeth Howe, Susannah Martin, Rebecca Nurse and Sarah Wildes.

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What happened to the Salem witch accusers?

What Happened to the Girls? Most of the accusers in the Salem trials went on to lead fairly normal lives. Betty Parris, Elizabeth Booth, Sarah Churchill, Mary Walcott, and Mercy Lewis eventually married and had families. … Ann Putnam, Jr. , stayed in Salem Village for the rest of her life.

How many documents are there left over from the Salem Witch Trials?

According to Salem Web , 552 of the original documents from the Salem Witch Trials have survived to the present day. Transcripts of the court proceedings can be found at the University of Virginia and on Salem Trials- Examinations of the Accused .

Why were the Salem Witch Trials unfair?

They believed that the illness was all caused by witchcraft. This only lead to false accusations, of those who were believed to be a witch. These types of accusations harmed many innocent people because of the reliance on authority, their hasty judgement, white and black thinking, labeling, and resisting to change.

Who was the first person accused of witchcraft?

In June 1692, the special Court of Oyer and Terminer [“to hear and to decide”] convened in Salem under Chief Justice William Stoughton to judge the accused. The first to be tried was Bridget Bishop of Salem, who was accused of witchcraft by more individuals than any other defendant.

What is speculative evidence?

Speculative Evidence. Speculative Evidence. The argument draws a conclusion form an assertion about what the evidence would show, if one were actually to look at it; however, the argument appeals to evidence that has not actually been collected or does not actually exist.

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Who spoke out against the use of spectral evidence in the Salem trials?

Urged by other Boston-area ministers, Increase Mather wrote against the use of spectral evidence, in Cases of Conscience Concerning Evil Spirits Personating Men, Witchcrafts, Infallible Proofs of Guilt in such as are accused with that Crime. He argued that innocent people were charged.

What is the problem with spectral evidence?

issues. Standard explanations have affirmed that individuals were hanged on the basis of spectral evidence alone, that confession was the surest way to avoid trial, and that non-spectral acts of witchcraft entered only marginally into the court’s decisions because they provided no clear link of a covenant with Satan.