First Salem witch hanging
On this day in history- Bridget Bishop was the first person executed for witchcraft in the Salem Witch Trials 1692. (Source)
This sad story originated due to 2 young girls and their mysterious ailments. You see in Feb 1692, when 9 year old Elizabeth Parris and 11 year old Abigail Williams began experiencing fits and other maladies including being pinched by invisible forces, a doctor concluded the children were suffering the effects of witchcraft! Both Elizabeth and Abigail were the daughter and niece of the very respected Reverend Samuel Parris
Under compulsion from the doctor and their parents, the girls named those allegedly responsible for their suffering.
One of those named was Reverend Parris’s Indian slave girl from Barbados called Tituba. Tituba confessed to the crime and became the first Salem residents to be charged with the capital crime of witchcraft. Tituba went on to accuse many more men and women
The first to be tried was Bridget Bishop of Salem, who was accused of witchcraft by more individuals than any other defendant. Bishop, known around town for her dubious moral character, frequented taverns, dressed flamboyantly (by Puritan standards), and was married three times. She professed her innocence but was found guilty and executed by hanging on June 10. Thirteen more women and five men from all stations of life followed her to the gallows, and one man, Giles Corey, was executed by crushing. Most of those tried were condemned on the basis of the witnesses’ behaviour during the actual proceedings, characterised by fits and hallucinations that were argued to have been caused by the defendants on trial.