History Presents: Haunted Histories

Season 1 Episode 2

Salem Witch Trials

Aired Unknown Sep 18, 2008 on The History Channel
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Episode Summary

Salem Witch Trials
This one hour documentary to air on The History Channel will present an in depth examination of the facts and the mysteries surrounding the court room trials of suspected witches in Salem Village, Massachusetts in 1692. The documentary hosted by David Ackroyd will explore the original, hand-written court records to reconstruct the events of what remains today one of the most fascinating real life court room dramas of all time. Using exact quotations from historic documents, the program will follow the cases of the suspected witches from accusations, to arrests, to preliminary hearings, to formal court proceedings, to sentencing, to executions. Through the use of documents, artifacts, paintings, illustrations, historically accurate recreations and expert interviews the program will seek to present the full story of the period in time and the individual lives of the people involved in this extraordinary chapter in history. The program will strive to give substance and heart to historical names that have previously only been footnotes in text books to most of us. Among those profiled will be Rev. Samuel Parris, Tituba, Elizabeth Parris, Abigail Williams, Ann Putnam, Mary Warren, Bridget Bishop, Rebecca Nurse, John Proctor, Sarah Good, Dorcas Good, Giles Corey and Sir William Phipps. Experts, historians, authors and behavorial psychologists will help explain the underlying reasons for the great fear of witchcraft, neighborhood quarrels, hard economic times, strict religious precepts and the legal precedents that led to the charges of practicing witchcraft against more than 150 people in the New England farming community. We'll follow the facts to discover how 24 people paid with their lives for a hysteria that had gripped the community in 1692. The documentary will explore the evidence used in court, including the testimony of young girls and women who claimed they were being tormented by the invisible spirits of witches living in the village. The program will explmoreless

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