Friday, August 30, 2013

Salem, Massachusetts

Salem Massachusetts:

    Salem has been haunted since the 1600's but its the brutal histroy that makes it so haunted.

    It was in the winter months of 1692 that the Salem witch trials kicked off when two young girls Betty Parris, age 9, and her cousin Abigail Williams, age 11. Began to have fits described as "beyond the power of Epileptic Fits or natural disease to effect". The girls screamed, threw things about the room, uttered strange sounds, crawled under furniture, and contorted themselves into peculiar positions, according to the eyewitness account of Rev. Deodat Lawson. The girls complained of being pinched and pricked with pins. Even the doctor couldn't find any physical evidence of any ailment. 
   When Lawson preached in the Salem village meetinghouse, he was interrupted several times by outbursts of the afflicted.
   The first three people accused and arrested for allegedly afflicting Betty Parris, Abigail Wiilliams, Ann Putnam Jr., and Elizabeth Hubbard. Were Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and Tituba. Once they were tortured they gave up names just to make it stop as did the others and so on until there were 150 men, women and children behind bars out of that 33 people died. The Salem witch hystria ended in 1693. 

   Most of the people who accused the innocent used spectral evidence, or testimony of the afflicted who claimed to see the apparition or the shape of the person who was allegedly afflicting them. The theological dispute that ensued about the use of this evidence centered on whether a person had to give permission to the Devil for his/her shape to be used to afflict. Opponents claimed that the Devil was able to use anyone's shape to afflict people, but the court contended that the Devil could not use a person's shape without that person's permission; therefore, when the afflicted claimed to see the apparition of a specific person, that was accepted as evidence that the accused had been complicit with the Devil. 

   Another way people would claim a person was a witch was by Witch Cakes.

    At some point in February 1692, likely between the time when the afflictions began but before specific names were mentioned, a neighbor of Rev. Parris, Mary Sibly, instructed John Indian, one of the minister's slaves, to make a witch cake, using traditional English white magic to discover the identity of the witch who was afflicting the girls. The cake, made from rye meal and urine from the afflicted girls, was fed to a dog. According to English folk understanding of how witches accomplished affliction, when the dog ate the cake, the witch herself would be hurt because invisible particles she had sent to afflict the girls remained in the girls' urine, and her cries of pain when the dog ate the cake would identify her as the witch. But this was later forbidden as it was white magic and using any kind during that time was considered going to the Devil for help against the Devil. 

   Another way to find a witch was using the Touch Test. 

   The most infamous employment of the belief in effluvia and in direct opposition to what Parris had advised his own parishioners in Salem Village was the touch test used in Andover during preliminary examinations in September 1692. If the accused witch touched the victim while the victim was having a fit, and the fit then stopped, that meant the accused was the person who had afflicted the victim. As several of those later recounted, "we were blindfolded, and our hands were laid upon the afflicted persons, they being in their fits and falling to their fits at our coming into their presence, they said. Some led us and laid our hands upon them, and then they said they were well and that we were guilty of afflicting them; whereupon we were all seized, as prisoners, by a warrant from the justice of the peace and forthwith carried to Salem"  

   Other Evidence 

Other evidence included the confessions of the accused, the testimony of a person who confessed to being witch identifying others as witches, the discovery of poppits, books of palmistry and horoscopes, or pots of ointments in the possession or home accused, and the existence of so called witch's test on the body of the accused. A witch's test was said to be a mole or blemish somewhere on the body that was insensitive to touch; discovery of such insensitive areas was considered de facto evidence of witchcraft, although in practice the witch's teat was usually insenitive by design, with examiners using secretly dulled needles to claim that the accused could not feel the prick of a pin. 

This tragic event has left its mark on Salem for good it is the most famous haunted town on the map, but just in case you would like some place to visit in Salem thats haunted here's a couple places.

   House of the seven gables:

Is another structure in Salem that has the reputation of being haunted. Many of the local residents refer to this location as the “Turner-Ingersoll Mansion”. This is because these two names reflected the two names reflected the two families that once resided at the structure. The first family, the Turner family, built the home in the year of 1668. Eventually, the Ingersoll family purchased it due to financial losses suffered by the Turner family. One lady, whose name was Susan Ingersoll, was a cousin to the famous author, Nathaniel Hawthorne who wrote the book on the structure. She remained a resident of the structure until the age of 72.

Many hauntings have been recorded at the House of the Seven Gables. It is believed that Susan’s spirit remains at the home. In many instances, a female has been seen peering out of the windows, and then disappearing. It is also believed that the spirit of a young male can be heard playing in the area of the attic. Employees and other individuals who have visited this particular home have been rumored to hear strange sounds in the structure, and have even witnessed strange occurrences in the home, such as faucets and lights turning on and off with no explanation…. 

                                   Hawthorne Hotel:

There is a hotel that is believed to be haunted by the residents, as well as those that have stayed in the structure. This is the Hawthorne Hotel. In the early 1900s, the individuals in Salem saw a need to have a hotel built for those traveling through the city, and those visiting the city. In the year of 1925, the project was completed, and named the “Hawthorne Hotel”. They named the hotel after the famous author named Nathaniel Hawthorne, who had grew up in the area of Salem as a child.

There are many ghostly tales surrounding the Hawthorne Hotel. The first directly relates to a lady by the name of Bridget Bishop. This lady had an apple orchard on the same property where the hotel is located. She was the first to be executed in the ever-famous “Salem Witch Trials”. Today, when one visits the hotel, the smell of fresh apples can often be experienced – despite the fact that there are no apple trees or orchards located anywhere near the structure. In addition to this, paranormal researchers have picked up on energy in the structure with EMF detectors and the KII Meter. Strange sounds, mists, and smells have been experienced by numerous people….

                                      Gallows Hill:

Is an area in haunted Salem where the ever-popular “Bridget Bishop” met her fate by hanging in the year of 1692. She was the first individual to be executed as part of the Salem Witch Trials. In addition to this, eighteen other people were also murdered here as part of the Salem Witch Trials. It was later discovered that these individuals were actually innocent of the crimes that they were charged with. While this area now plays host to a large playing field for schools engaging in certain sports, it is also considered to be an area that is highly haunted.

Many ghost pictures, ghost videos, digital audio recordings, and EMF readings have been taken in the area of Gallows Hills and have revealed apparent apparitions, mists, orbs, and other types of unexplained phenomenon. If you want to experience a true paranormal hot spot as far as spiritual activity is concerned in the haunted ghost town of Salem, Gallows Hill is definitely a location that you are sure to gain an appreciation for!

                                Joshua Ward House:

Is another area that is located in the city that is believed to house several different types of spirits. This structure emerged right around the year of 1750. It is believed that the spirit of the Sheriff of the time of the Witch Trials haunts this building. It is also believed that the spirit of the man named Giles Corey also haunts this structure. This is the man that was murdered by stoning. The story of an angry woman in her older years is said to haunt the stairs, and many have felt an extreme uneasiness when entering in the home….

                                      Salem Jail:

From the year of about 1885 to the year of 1991, the Salem Jail in the ghost town housed a number of criminals. To this day, the prison remained abandoned, and for a very good reason! It is believed to be extremely haunted. It is believed that many of the criminals who were once imprisoned at the Salem Jail remain imprisoned even at the onset of death and their entrance in the spiritual world. You can often hear chains, screams, and crying as you walk in the building….






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