Some think that the devil was lurking in the village of Salem. This is the “easiest” explanation – as they saw – for all the crazy events and strange phenomena that erupted suddenly without warning in that safe spot, so did the witches’ hammer hit their targets accurately, or did it fall over the wrong heads and was a mushroom Rotten ergot another opinion?

Witch’s hammer .. Before “Salem”

The Hammer of Witches by Heinrich Kramer – a German Catholic clergyman – is one of the most famous books throughout history, which deals with witch trials in the Middle Ages. It was written in 1486 and came to light about a year later.

This book, which some describe as “the black of what was written by a human hand,” led to a state of tension and panic in Europe that extended for more than two centuries, and led to the persecution of women and girls – often – for practicing witchcraft, and then their trial and death sentence by burning.

how-to guide

The aim of the book was first to prove the existence of magic for those who do not believe in it, to invalidate the arguments of deniers and to attack those who doubt it.

And at this particular time came as a result of the spread of witchcraft practices in Europe, and the emergence of the star of the Inquisition, which pursued witches and heretics, but the inspectors often confuse witchcraft with some popular practices, and mess up a random mess, so the witches’ hammer was – as Reverend Kramer sees – a guide. To determine the nature of witchcraft and its practices, to find out who the witch is specifically and to distinguish him from others, and to indicate the evidence that proves that a person committed the crime of witchcraft, and then his trial, which ends in death.

Magic Cake in Salem Village

Salem Village

The village of Salem is located in the state of Massachusetts, the United States, which is about 8 meters above sea level, and despite the name of the village that suggests calm and serenity, but it went through difficult moments, the residents did not know the meaning of peace.

The story began specifically in February 1692 to May 1693, where the magic cake was the main controller of people’s destinies, as some convictions spread that this cake has a supernatural ability, revealing whether the sick person suffers from magic or not, which is the cake made of rye flour In addition to the urine of the infected person.

This is how the sick person is forced to eat a piece of cake. In addition, during the waiting period of the patient, the dog of the (Paris) family is used, which some have suggested belonging to the bloodline of Satan, where the patient’s illness is determined based on the obvious symptoms on the dog, and if they are similar Symptoms with the affected person, the existence of magic has been proven, and vice versa, a popular practice known in English culture at the time.

Black Magic

By the 17th century, many residents believed that in the land of Salem, Satan was freed from his shackles during the colonization of North America, a belief that was already common during the 15th century.

With the passage of time, and specifically since 1560, and with the revolution in technology in the world of printing at the time and the spread of the “witch’s hammer” in thousands of copies throughout Europe – where hardly a village or court was without it – myths and rumors increased, and the residents of the village became absolutely certain that the land of Salem was enchanted and surrounded With black magic, she is haunted by demons and evil spirits from all sides.

Unexplained strange phenomena

Thus, the population did not stop believing in the idea of ​​magic and possession, until about 1670, as superstitions gradually escalated over the years, especially after the outbreak of diseases and epidemics in a remarkable way, such as the damage or burning of agricultural crops without a concrete reason, and the outbreak of social disputes between sects, which may reach up to The killing, in addition to the convulsions of children and their sudden epilepsy, and the frequent death of infants and young adults, which led to the confirmation of their conviction that the land of Salem is under the weight of supernatural forces.

In addition to the above, the two young girls “Elizabeth Paris” and “Abigail Williams” suffered from severe convulsions and strange symptoms, and as soon as they turned to the village doctor “William” he diagnosed their condition as black magic, and very soon after, similar symptoms began Appear on the residents of the village, especially young girls, and with lightning speed, gossip spread and pointed fingers at some of the women of Salem village, where the journey began to search for every woman who practices magic rituals, until she is presented to the civil trial, but who is Elizabeth Paris, who caused the trial of witches?

Elizabeth Paris

Salem Village

Elizabeth Paris, is the daughter of Reverend Samuel Paris and his wife Elizabeth Aldridge Paris, so her father called her “Betty” to distinguish her from her mother.

By the beginning of 1692 Elizabeth was 9 years old, and it started when she told her parents that she had seen the devil incarnate to her in a dream, and soon after she began to suffer from various diseases and strange symptoms that do not explain, such as sudden fever, as well as convulsions and sprains accompanied by sounds Weird and groggy, the symptoms worsened after eating her “magic cake”, which was interpreted as black magic, which also affected her cousin, 12-year-old Abigail Williams, and most of the village girls in succession.

The witch trial in Salem village

On one occasion, Elizabeth pointed the finger at some women, who confirmed that they practice black magic in the village, and because she is the daughter of the priest, everyone was marked by purity and purity, and accordingly the largest trial of witches was held in the village of Salem, after which 19 women were immediately hanged, in addition to To the farmer and church member Giles Corey, also accused of practicing witchcraft in the village, and who had previously been accused of killing his wife, whose ghost appeared more than once to the villagers.

Who made the cake?

The idea of ​​the cake came back to a neighbor of the Paris family, called “Mary Sibley”, who recommended that the servant of the Paris family make the cake, after collecting urine from all the girls with diseases, which was later denounced by the “Paris Paris” in the church, and wholly rejected, Expressing that this cake is only a way to help the devil himself.

Thus, he resorted to some local clergymen, asking them to pray for the girls, to eliminate their suffering of unknown origin, but despite the efforts of the clergy, and the efforts of the local doctor “William Griggs”, the girls remained in this state, as the doctor did not find a material reason for what happened to them .

Ergot mushroom in the dock

Researchers largely agreed that Salem village does not suffer from magic or supernatural powers, and that all accusations are false due to the ignorance of the community at the time. It is possible that the relative of the Paris family, “Reverend Reveres”, was responsible for everything that happened, as he was implicated in the events of the power debate in the colony, including the king’s wars with the French and Indians as well.

Some researchers also pointed out that the matter resulted from the old quarrels between the village members, which were related to matters of power and inheritance, which prompted some of them to carry out disgraceful acts, including poisoning the girls’ food, burning crops and other other crimes, to convince the village of the idea of ​​witchcraft and possession.

Recently, a different hypothesis appeared by Dr. Linda Caporael from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, suggesting that the strange diseases and symptoms that appeared on Elizabeth and the village girls were nothing but cases of poisoning with the ergot fungus, which is present in the rye flour from which cakes are made, which was often used to make pancakes in that time.

Despite the belief of many historians on the latter theory, this does not prevent it being mere speculations and assumptions that have not been proven true so far, and the village of Salem and what solved it remains a mystery, not even the witches’ hammer have succeeded in revealing its secret so far.

See the original thread here