Hocus Pocus

By Liz Kenerson

Witches do not exist. This is what most people think, but some believe that they were very important to the holiday of Halloween, known back then as All Hallows eve. It started in Salem, Massachusetts, the year was 1692.  The first convicted witch, Bridget Bishop, was hanged that June. After that, there were 18 more suspected witches hung in the gallows of Salem. 

According to the article “Salem Witch Trials” on History.com, the story behind witches is about how the devil projects his powers onto certain humans (witches) who use this power to harm others to show their loyalty to the devil. The article explains that, in a scientific study done in 1976 to see why people were acting this way, there was evidence of the fungus ergot that causes vomiting, muscle spasms, delusions and hallucinations. According to History.com, the symptoms of being poisoned by the fungus is what made people believe that some humans were witches, or being hurt by a witch. 

1280px-Salem_witch2As you probably assumed as well “Witches don’t exist,” said Cate at NAHS. Old tales show that witches were tried and hung in the Salem Witch Trials. In Salem, MA the teachers will talk about the trials on Halloween. The kids know about all of the witches and think it is one of the spookiest nights of the year and don’t dare to go near where the trials were held. 

After All Hallow’s Eve is over and done, the people of Salem move on and come back to reality. Some say the trials didn’t even happen.

Movies we used to watch as a kid tried to tell us what witches were like and tried to embellish them and glorify them. “Hocus Pocus makes me want to move away from MA,” said Mariah. Some people do not believe in witches but Salem has a good story to tell.

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