Esoteric Mystery

America Bewitched: The Story of Witchcraft After Salem by Owen Davies

By Owen Davies

The USA Bewitched is the 1st significant heritage of witchcraft in the US - from the Salem witch trials of 1692 to the current day.

The notorious Salem trials are etched into the realization of recent the United States, the human toll a reminder of the risks of intolerance and persecution. The chorus 'Remember Salem!' was once invoked usually over the consequent centuries. As time handed, the rigors grew to become a milepost measuring the gap the United States had advanced from its colonial previous, its sufferers now the righteous and their persecutors the shamed. but the tale of witchcraft didn't finish because the American Enlightenment dawned - a new,
long, and chilling bankruptcy used to be approximately to begin.

Witchcraft after Salem used to be not only a narrative of fire-side stories, legends, and superstitions: it persisted to be a question of existence and dying, souring the yank dream for plenty of. we all know of extra humans killed as witches among 1692 and the Fifties than have been completed ahead of it. Witches have been a part of the tale of the decimation of the local americans, the event of slavery and emancipation, and the immigrant event; they have been embedded within the spiritual and social heritage of the rustic. Yet
the heritage of yankee witchcraft among the eighteenth and the 20 th century additionally tells a much less annoying tale, person who exhibits how assorted cultures interacted and formed every one other's languages and beliefs.

This is hence even more than the story of 1 persecuted group: it opens a desirable window at the fears, prejudices, hopes, and goals of the yankee humans as their kingdom rose from colony to superpower.

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Additional info for America Bewitched: The Story of Witchcraft After Salem

Sample text

After years of petitioning by those who had suffered, on 17 October 1711 the Massachusetts legislature reversed the guilty verdicts of twenty-two of those convicted and paid hundreds of pounds in compensation to their families. The days of the witch trials seemed to be over: its victims now the righteous, and their persecutors the shamed. Salem: never again? Through schooling and the media the events of 1692 are etched into the consciousness of modern America. The date, like 1776 and 1865, brings to a close a chapter in the annals of the country’s development.

The history presented in the ensuing pages will, I hope, spark greater scholarly and public interest in a subject that plumbs the depths of what it meant to be American. CHAPTER TWO MAGIC OF A NEW LAND Post-colonial America was the backdrop for one of the most extraordinary cultural confrontations. The story of human migration and environmental challenges is as old as human existence, but never before in the history of the human race had so many different peoples, their myriad languages, cultures, customs, and beliefs been thrown together so quickly and so chaotically in a new land, facing an environment strange and yet familiar in equal measure.

For us, the photographs of accused witches, the bewitched, and witch killers, some of which are reproduced in this book, bring home both the ordinariness of witchcraft accusations and provoke a more emotional response to the personal tragedies that sometimes resulted. They banish any stereotypical images of the witch that the written word might evoke. In this respect they serve a valuable historical purpose, and yet they raise moral issues. It is not always clear that those concerned wished to be photographed.

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