escaping salem - Escaping Salem Throughout reading the book...

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Escaping Salem Throughout reading the book “Escaping Salem: The Other Witch Hunt of 1692” by Richard Godbeer, I found many interesting facts along with some not so intriguing. The book is mainly about Abigail and Daniel Westcot's maid, Katherine Branch, and how she is possessed by some devil like spirit as in witchcraft. No one knows is she is faking or telling the truth, and obviously there is really no way to tell which one is the right observation. First to try and figure out where Katherine's fits are coming from they looked for a medical explanation, since Katherine's mother was epileptic and suffered from similar fits. The Westcot's turned to Sarah Bates for her medical knowledge and skill. Although Goody Bates had no university degree or formal apprenticeship, the community relied on her for her expertise in helping her sick neighbors (p.17). First, Goody Bates advised the Westcot's to burn feathers under Katherine's nose, but she didn't budge out of her immobility. Then they tried to prick her with a needle, but no medical explanation could be evaluated from any of Goody Bates' trials. At this point in the story I couldn't tell if Katherine was faking or not, but it was believed that she was bewitched because of her crazy fits and stories. Some of them were interesting, for instance how she saw a cats talking to her and one of them flung a rat into her face. Then they told her that they would kill her, and then they turned into women, who Katherine claimed were the witches. She had to of been very creative to make all of this stuff up. When Daniel had to leave on business, Katherine was watched by people around town, which allowed her to show she was bewitched to more people. The first to watch her were David Selleck and Abraham Finch. During their stay Katherine had a very believable fit where Abraham claimed he saw a ball of fire pass across the room (p. 27). I don't know how to explain this part, maybe he was making
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This note was uploaded on 04/20/2008 for the course HIST 2100 taught by Professor Celitti during the Winter '08 term at Western Michigan.

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escaping salem - Escaping Salem Throughout reading the book...

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