Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hmmmm, Seems Fishy...

While I was reading through the various witch pamphlets something interesting caught my attention. The majority of the times that “witches” were caught and accused, they were charged on the grounds of doing something to someone else instead of doing something for themselves (like finding a pot of gold or something like that). Take for instance the confession of “Mother Waterhouse of Hatfield Peverell” who used her familiar (a cat) to kill three of a man’s hogs out of a supposed hatred for the man. Now, the interesting point arises when one looks at how the accusations are created as revenge cases against other people, for most witches were primarily accused because something went wrong with a neighbor, or towns-person.

This type of vengeance based accusation sheds a lot of light on the idea of witches for the time period. For during the time period I am sure that, to those living during the time, many strange happenings occured, children would become instantly sick, livestock would confusingly perish, and natural disasters were just as common then as now. People needed excuses for these baffling occurrences, and who was more easy to blame than the ugly, family-less woman. So, it makes sense that innocent people were accused of witchery, but the problem arises when one reads that the people accused actually confessed to that which they were accused. Maybe, it was because they were weary of their societies rejection and decided to just accept the accusations or maybe, it was because they truly did have dealings with the devil, I suppose we will never really know.

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