A witch was a person from the area of Salem who practiced witchcraft, and was also called a porter.
Who were the members of Salem?
The Salem witches were a group of four women convicted of witchcraft in 1692: Susannah Warren, Lizzie Magie, Hannah Cowles, and Elizabeth Hutchinson. They were given the trial word “witch” after the men. Elizabeth had an older sister, and would frequently visit them.
The men at this trial believed the women were witches and tried to get them executed for their crime. These actions and others led to the founding of the first state in recorded history.
Why all the fuss over the word “witch”?
Why is the word “witch” still used today in the 21st century? Why are we so bothered by witches and their supposedly sinister, secret ways? Why do we need to hear it when the story of witches was used by a group of young women in a small town in the 1600s?
The most convincing answer is the myth of the original witch. Witch hunters have always been fascinated by this “myth,” a belief in which the “bad” witch is the original bad witch, and the “good” witch and her family were the true victims, not the bad ones in this story.
The myth started about a thousand years ago, when early Christian authors wrote that the old pagan gods worshiped fire. They also wrote that fire could only burn when it was accompanied by the words of evil. When Christians started to believe this and that pagan gods also worshiped fire, they believed they were being corrupted by the worship of these deities. The Christian belief that fire could only burn evil was the original superstition and belief in the old pagan gods.
The next step in the myth-making process was that if the old gods worshiped fire, then the Christian god was, too. What was needed was an enemy of witchcraft who would destroy witches, and so Christian authors created what is known today as the Anti-Witchcraft Act of 1692. This act declared that the witches in Salem were just like everyone else and that they could not perform the rituals or harm others in any way. Also, if you burned a witch you could be charged with a felony punishable by death.
These laws worked so well as long as they were not actually enforced, that they were eventually repealed. Then, in 1832, the U.S. government repealed the anti-witchcraft
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