Strange Phenomena of New England: Now Available!
This book is an excellent primer on the Salem Witch Trials- it contains mostly a slew of primary source documents; letters from the era, trial proceedings, and- at the end- the culminating document which ended the era for good, namely the recanting and apology of the jury involved for having condemned innocent people to death. While I have strong opinions on the subject of why the trials happened (my theory is a fusion of the ergot, property, and social panic theories and accepts none completely) I kept my own words to a minimum and relegated them to the foreword.
Some of the claims made especially during testimony are bizarre in the highest degree- flying objects strange creatures, demonic sexual intercourse, and what we would now deem both ghosts and psychic attack. Some of the stories told are chilling, especially when one considers that most of the accused were tortured and mistreated, even if only about a tenth of them ended up actually executed.