We have rather a long history of Witchery which involves the practice of magical spells, mysterious skills and abilities in order to draw powers. According to several sources, there are several rituals that, if practiced correctly, can gain you extreme power and energy. The practicing people are called witches. Witches allegedly have supernatural powers to control people and events and thus, the common majority have developed the element of fright. Thus, to ensure their safety, they retaliate back; which results in the brutal killings of witches.
However, there are many instances when several innocent women were killed for witchery; originally developing from a tiny doubt. Looking at the history, you would find that more women are falsely killed in modern day witch hunts. This is still prevalent in numerous underdeveloped countries, claiming thousands of innocent lives every year. In this story, you will take a sneak peek to some of the incidents when impoverished, old and widowed women were barbarically extinguished to death.
Salem Witch Trials
During the late 17th century, a group of young girls started acting in a weird manner in Salem village, Massachusetts. This unexpected behaviour drew attention of the old people. It took them only a little supervision to declare them demonically possessed, while it was only the classical case of hysteria strokes.
Because of the illiteracy prevalent in the Salem, elders held witchcraft responsible for the possession of those young girls. Soon later, they put a mission forward to court trials and catch the witches in order to punish them. In this connotation, thousands were put under a trial and approximately two hundred people were accused. Out of these two hundred, thirty were found guilty and nineteen of them were hanged till death for the doubt of their involvement in witchcraft.
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Helpless Salem Women killed for Witchery
In these nineteen people, there were five helpless women. They were poor and lacked a social status. They were executed on the basis of a single allegation from the side of the afflicted girls. Amongst these five, there was a Franco-Indian slave Tituba, an invalid widow Sarah Osbourne and a local beggar Sarah Good.
|Name||Reason of execution|
|Bridget Bishop||She, being a widow fits into the common idea of a witch for her poverty and old age.|
|Martha Carrier||Her family was thought to bring smallpox to Andover and the authorities forced her teenagers confessing their mother’s involvement in witchcraft- resulting in her execution.|
|Sarah Good||Several afflicted girls and Tituba held her responsible for spectre attacks.|
|Susannah Martin||An early accused Susannah had her bad reputation travel to Salem and she, despite of living in Amesbury. She was alleged by the afflicted girls and despite of no evidence, she was dragged to her destiny of death on the same day as Sarah Good.|
|Martha Cory & Rebecca Nurse||Martha Cory was a contented member of her church, along with her ally Rebecca Nurse. She didn’t believe in witch trials and thus, stopped her husband attending the Salem trials. Soon the story was widespread and the afflicted girls named Martha and Rebecca; resulting in the last hangings of the Salem Witch trials.|
Out of them all, only Tituba accepted her involvement with Satan and his dark world rituals. In her words, “I had signed the devil’s book with my blood”. This led to further trial and 15 more were executed for being witches.DID YOU KNOW?
Indian Witch Hunt
On 30th January, 2019, a devastating news spurred from the Indian state of Orissa where a woman along with her four children was brutally killed and cremated.
The story has its roots from a tribal settlement where a family started having numerous health issues. Instead of going to the doctor, they called upon a Tantrik (witch doctor). After performing some rituals, he blamed Mrs. Munda, a neighbour for their illness.
After Mrs. Munda was alleged of casting spells on another family, a group of villagers broke into her house during night hour while they were asleep. They attacked all six of them with iron rods, wooden sticks and cut them brutally with an axe before dumping their bodies inside a nearby well.
The prevalent cases of witch hunting is increasing day by day in Orissa, resulting in loss of hundreds of innocent lives. According to sources; in these 14 years, more than 2000 women have lost their lives for practicing black magic.
Nepalese woman killed for Witchery
The list of ongoing witch hunts is widespread in this eastern country Nepal who got in news after a 40 year old woman was burnt alive after a shaman accused her of casting spells to make a relative sick.
After Dhegani Mahato was convicted, members of her own family attacked her and pushed her out to the custody of a vengeful throng. She was first beaten with sticks and rocks. Later, they set her on fire in front of her two daughters who saw her dying in a helpless demeanor.
The police arrested two shamans and 8 locals. As a compensatory measure, the central government gave her daughters a sum of USD 14,000 to make a better living. But what the government needs to ponder is, can this money buy them their mother’s life?
Papua New Guinea Witch Hunt
Enga Province, Papua New Guinea
In 2013, a boy in the outskirts of New Guinea felt severely ill. He showed the signs of pneumonia and diarrhoea. With the days passing, his condition started to worsen. Instead of a medical consultation, villagers blamed Kepari Leniata, a 20 year old woman for using witchcraft.
The village headman called upon a meeting and accused Ms Leniata of using black magic to kill the boy and seize his soul to make it her slave. Having said that, the assembly pulled her out of the house, tore her clothes, cut her hairs, poured kerosene on her and set her on fire. Before her death, she kneeled down and prayed for her life- but all in vein.
The similar kind of incident took place 4 years later. In 2017, a man fell ill in the outskirts of Enga province in the Papua New Guinea. Elders diagnosed his illness as kaikai lewa, a procedure in which witch steals a victim’s heart and consumes it in order to gain their virility. This time the villagers blamed a six years old girl, stripped her naked and tortured her using hot iron rods to peel off the skin from her back and buttocks.
Indonesian Witch Trial
West Java, Indonesia
Being under the monopoly of Suharto for more than 31 years, Indonesia was a country under heavy control and dependent administration. Thus, with the resignation of the militaristic dictator, whole country entered into a complete unrest; resulting in severe financial crisis and consecutive witch hunts.
In September 2000, a throng of locals in West java accused a 70 year-old woman of sorcery and witchcraft. They blamed her to cast evil spells on the residents, making them ill. The angry mob gathered only to decapitate her. Before she was executed, her eyes were gouged out and her limbs were torn from her body and tossed into the street.
Indonesians have a huge anger and hatred towards witches which has proven out to be the nightmare for their poor residents. The poor, old women are often doubted for practicing witchcraft, resulting in their brutal killings.
Before you depart, Hey- tell us where are you from? Do you remember any witch hunt across your country in the recent years? What measures do you think should be taken in order to prevent it? In any case, drop your thoughts down the comments below.