Last month I read a fabulous piece of historical fiction, The Heretics Daughter, by Kathleen Kent. It is based on Kent's ancestor, a woman and her daughter accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials. I learned quite a bit more about the factors leading up to the hysteria. From what I gleaned from the story it seemed to be a frenzy created by a bunch of conniving teenage girls making outrageous accusations for attention. One of my favorite lines showing the senselessness of it all was from an old woman in the jail cell. Dozens of people were crammed in a rotten cell, and she proclaimed something to the effect of 'If we were all really witches we would have blown the roof off this place a long time ago'. I was constantly amazed by the superstitious blindness of the community. They were spellbound by the notion of witchcraft and reacting rashly, captivated by their own fears and insecurities (compounded by problems with the natives whose land they had taken and poor harvests) leading them to irrational acts. The inability to have power over their true enemies or nature lead them to take out their anger and fear upon those immediately around them causing them equal frustration. Obviously no one was thinking straight, but it didn't keep them from killing their neighbors. Oh, the wicked things people do.
HALLOWEEN SONG 1: "The Witch" - Rosetta Stone (cover of The Rattles)
HALLOWEEN SONG 2: "Spellbound"- Siouxsie and the Banshees