Showing posts with label Witchcraft Trials. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Witchcraft Trials. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Hadley's Half-Hanged Mary

The Witch of Hadley: Mary Webster, the Weird, and the Wired
The Massachusetts Review
Anna Smith
October 15, 2019
Mary Webster’s troubles started not long after what non-native historians typically refer to as Metacom’s (or King Philip’s) War—America’s most devastating civil war if judged in terms of deaths per capita. This conflict included an attack on Hadley in 1675, and it seems likely that the witchcraft scares were at least in part related to fears stemming from these conflicts. You don’t have to be a trauma expert to imagine that settlers in Massachusetts, just a decade later, might have still been a bit unhinged.

 

It is in Hutchinson’s history, written some years after the actual events, that we first hear of the hanging of Mary Webster. He writes that a group of “brisk lads” went to her house, hanged her till she was near death (did they believe she was dead?), then cut her down, rolled her into a snow bank, and left her there.

But Hutchinson ends on a cheerful note, “It happened that she survived and the melancholy man died.”

Apparently, she lived another eleven years and became known as “Half-Hanged Mary.” In 1985, Margaret Atwood dedicated her novel The Handmaid’s Tale to Mary Webster, her ancestor, and ten years later, wrote a poem to “Half-Hanged Mary.” The resurgent popularity of Atwood’s novel and its Hulu series, as well as the anticipation around the release of the novel’s sequel, tell us that this noxious strain in our collective consciousness is still in need of healing. We’re a long way from understanding everything about misogyny, groupthink, and terror.

If people already think you’re a witch, it’s hard to imagine what surviving a hanging would do for your reputation. I like to envision that first encounter with her neighbors. And yet, Judd tells us she “died in peace.”



 

You can watch her story here 

 

Monday, November 21, 2022

Twisted history lesson of Salem Witchcraft Trials and PTSD

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
November 21, 2022

If you have PTSD, then you know what it's like to have something terrible happen. If you're like me, you also know what it's like to wonder where God was when it did. I mean, it's really easy to wonder what He was doing when something horrible happened to you. It's not easy getting an answer from Him.

This series is a twisted history lesson since history is often twisted between what is perceived as "known" with the simple fact that what we think we know, is not all that is known by others.

I went beyond wondering why it happened, and full swing into wondering why the hell did I survive it? We all do that but not all of us end up like the people in the new series I wrote called The Ministers Of The Mystery.

Don't look for the book yet on Amazon. I'm not releasing it until the end of November, (hopefully, if I have the other two ready)

If you read the Lost Son series, I apologize. Instead of writing them the way I intended, I tried to conform to what other people thought. Big mistake. In a way, I'm really glad only a few people read them. These books are different because I went beyond what we perceive as all there is to know and fill in what could have happened.

Start with the Salem Witchcraft Trials. When I read about a minister being hung as a witch, a child went up my spine. Maybe I knew that when I was young and grew up near Salem, going there often, along with loving New England history. If I knew it back then, I forgot all of it.

His name was George Burroughs.
Burroughs graduated from Harvard University in 1670 and, in 1673, married his first wife Hannah Fisher.

In 1674, Burroughs moved to Falmouth, Maine where he served as the pastor at the Falmouth Congregational Church. He continued to serve as the pastor until the town was attacked and destroyed during a Wabanaki raid on August 11, 1676.

A lot has been said about what was behind the accusations against the townspeople of Salem. One of the factors behind it was that the accusers were suffering from PTSD tied to the attack Burroughs and others survived. This link goes to one of those claims along with a history lesson. I'm pointing that out because while Burroughs survived, he did not arrive in Salem Village until 1680 and served as their minister. He was only there for two years before he left after the villagers decided to not pay him.

Long story short, but even after he left, resentment held tempers strong and in 1692, they ordered his arrest to stand trial as an accused witch. What is even more telling about their determination to put an end to his life was the fact they had to go all the way up to Wells Maine to get him. Guess it didn't matter to them that he had been gone for ten years.

The more I researched what happened to him, the more questions popped into my mind. I started with the fact that this guy survived a lot of things, including losing three wives, on top of the slaughter of the people in Falmouth. Then, still holding onto his faith, he was sent to Salem as a spiritual leader trying to bring peace to people who seemed to enjoy fighting with one another. That was an easy assumption to make considering what they did to Burroughs was only part of it. They accused 200 others of witchcraft, hung 19, and crushed one to death. They got away with it simply by saying "they believed" something and never had to prove a single word of it.

The following is from SALEM WITCH TRIALS CHRONOLOGY
August 19- George Jacobs, Martha Carrier, George Burroughs, John Proctor, and John Willard are hanged. Although George Burroughs recites the Lord’s Prayer perfectly on the gallows (task witches were allegedly unable to complete without error), Cotton Mather insisted that “…the Devil has often been transformed into an Angel of Light.”
October 29- With public opinion turning against the trials, Governor Phips dissolves the Court of Oyer and Terminer
October 3- Boston minister Increase Mather, the father of Cotton Mather, addresses a meeting of ministers in Cambridge to warn against reliance on spectral evidence. Mather writes, “It were better that ten suspected witches should escape than one innocent person should be condemned…”

It all got me thinking about what if God called him to become a minister, saved him in Falmouth, and brought him to Salem Village to prevent the witchcraft trials? What if the people with power, position, means, and ability to help him in 1680 did it instead of turning against him?

That all fit with the story of Chris Papadopoulos in Salem on September 13th, 2019. He was a reporter covering the War On Terror. There was a bomb blast that he survived but ended up suffering for it. His body was scared and he had to have help to recover, but his wife regretted he came back home. She hated him. He survived her trying to kill him. He survived 7 years of agony and decided to end it all his way because he lost all hope. The thing is, God had other ideas. 

Now, no matter what God wanted him to do with his life, he wouldn't have been able to do a damn thing if the people sent to help him refused to do it. The long list of characters in these books includes Master Ministers of the Mystery with the ability to use their gifts far above what is "normal" and were, at one time, called witches. Everyone sent to help Chris was ready, willing, and able. The only thing they had to do was convince Chris to do it!

The other thing they have in common is, they all have PTSD! No one understands what you're going through better than someone else struggling to make sense of it too, no matter what it is. While we know we're all different, those of our kind, are the only ones that know what it is like to live with the heartache of unanswerable questions, or what it is like to rejoice when we discover a fuller life than we thought we could have.

I found comfort over the last 40 years, by reading about others like me and being inspired by them. Whatever we know today, was written by authors and reporters. Chris was a reporter, turned author, created as a scribe to translate the messages from God to help heal the world.

This series is a twisted history lesson since history is often twisted between what is perceived as "known" with the simple fact that what we think we know, is not all that is known by others. It is the same when we live with the reality of surviving the cause of PTSD. What we know is not what the general public knows. To them, PTSD only hits veterans, because that is all the reporters focus on. They ignore the rest of us. What chance do we have to open our eyes if no one is talking about us?

It was so bad for me, that after 40 years of helping people heal PTSD, I had no clue I had it. I never read anything about someone like me. Getting help for myself was impossible because I couldn't explain it enough that anyone would understand. I finally found a therapist that did get what I was saying.

She's helping me heal after losing one of my best friends and it was a grief I couldn't just get over. He died at the beginning of the year. I was writing these books, feeling more connected to the dark parts of the story than I did to the hopeful parts. After a while, she got me to see that I did need to connect to the darkness so that I'd feel the hopeful parts more. She was right!

If people see our pain, and struggles and understand how much power they have to help us, this world will become a better place for all of us!


Series Description:
Whenever something terrible happens, we all wonder why God let it happen. Have you ever wondered why God allowed the Salem Witchcraft trials? What if someone had been sent to prevent them from happening? What if the one sent, didn't get the help he was supposed to have waiting for him?

It was a time when people claimed to be Christians but proved they did not follow the values faithfully. They made false accusations against over 200 people and rejoiced when 20 were put to death because Puritans decided to hate them. It wasn't a new phenomenon. The Puritans may have given up the persecution of so-called witches but their use of the power of lies was a lesson far too many learned. The people with gifts beyond nature were forced into hiding knowing a time would come when they too would be vindicated.

In modern-day Salem, The Master Ministers were preparing for when the most powerful one of all would take his place as the 13th Minister. All they had to do was convince Chris to do it.

The Scribe of Salem is book one. The Visionary of Salem is book two. 13th Minister of Salem is book three.

Coming next week!


Friday, November 4, 2022

Would you vote to convict accused witches without evidence today?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
November 4, 2022

I am an Independent voter, just like the majority of people in this country, and have witnessed too much to remain silent. To me, being silent is the same thing as those who chose to remain silent while people were accused of witchcraft in Salem. Now I'm wondering if some of the people in this country would vote to convict people accused of witchcraft without evidence today.



"Over the course of the following decade, the residents of Salem had come to the realization that the witch trials had been a mistake and that innocent people may have been executed.
Although they still believed in witches and believed witches may have invaded Salem, they had doubts that so many people could have been guilty of the crime."
Rebecca Beatrice Brooks, The Witchcraft Trial of Reverend George Burroughs

If you read the account of the trial of Burroughs, what you see, over and over again, is "I believed" when witnesses gave their testimony. What someone believes is not always what can be proven. Once someone was accused of witchcraft, the only way to prove their innocence was if their execution was successful or not. The theory was that real witches would survive, and then they would be killed.

22-year-old Elizabeth Johnson was not executed after being charged with witchcraft. She was the last to be vindicated this year, 329 years later because she did not have children and no one was fighting to prove her innocence and clear her name.
"We will never be able to change what happened to victims like Elizabeth but at the very least can set the record straight," DiZoglio said. NPR After 329 years, a woman accused of being a witch in Salem has been exonerated
These trials and wild accusations resulted in the Bill Of Rights the rest of us live with,
More than 300 years later, the Salem witch trials testify to the way fear can ruin lives of innocent people and the importance of due process in protecting individuals against false accusations. Some of those who insisted in 1787 that a Bill of Rights was necessary for the ratification of the Constitution undoubtedly knew about the treatment of the “Salem witches” and how they had been deprived of the rights to which they should have been entitled under English common law. With the Bill of Rights in place, interpretations of the First Amendment consistently ruled that slander and defamation were not protected by the Constitution. Salem Witch Trials By Elizabeth R. Purdy

Right now we see people running for office claiming the 2020 election was "stolen" because it is what they say they believe. They have no evidence such a thing happened. Courts presented claims, but courts demand evidence of a crime being committed, and what someone says they believe, is not enough to file charges against anyone. No one can prove what they say they believe actually happened.

Yet these same people are running for office. Many of them are already saying if they lose, then the election was stolen from them. It hasn't even happened yet, but, that doesn't matter to them at all. What does that say about other members of their own party that may be on the same ballot and actually win their votes?

Supporters of former President Trump say they "believe" the election was stolen, but no evidence was ever given. People in Salem said they "believed" the accused were guilty, but again, no evidence was provided. No one can "prove" what someone says they believe is true or not and that is why evidence is required. It is ironic that he is claiming that all the court cases against him are a "witch hunt" and nothing more, but the courts required evidence to move forward and allow charges to be filed against him.

If they claim a crime was committed but don't have proof, do you really want to put them in charge of the laws for all of us? We may be accustomed to political commercials lying to us. (I usually yell liar at the TV) We may be accustomed to politicians lying to us. What none of us should ever be accustomed to is when they say what they "believe" to win their primary and then deny they said it when they want the votes from the rest of us. It's all on video! That's proof of what they said and proof of what they lie about now.

Don Bolduc is like the accusers. CNN has the video up on this.
“Guess what? We have furries and fuzzies in classrooms,” Bolduc told the crowd. “They lick themselves, they’re cats. When they don’t like something, they hiss – people walk down the hallway and jump out,” he said, as a hissing sound could be heard.

Bolduc claimed the 2022 election was stolen until he won the GOP primary.
Don Bolduc, the Republican Senate nominee in New Hampshire, changed his position as he faces a tough fall race, saying the 2020 presidential election “was not stolen.”

People like him were responsible for thousands of people attacking the Capitol, demanding the hanging of Vice President Pence and Speaker Of The House Nancy Pelosi, because they "believed" the election was stolen. False claims caused the deaths of innocent people in Salem. False claims now, because of people like Bolduc, can cause the death of our country by eliminating the only voice we have, OUR ABILITY TO VOTE FOR WHAT AND WHO AND WHAT WE BELIEVE IS WORTH FIGHTING FOR!