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Salem Witchcraft Trial (1878) (wikipedia.org)
20 points by samclemens on Nov 26, 2022 | hide | past | favorite | 13 comments



I recently visited the memorial site. I found it highly inappropriate.

A few feet away from these people’s actual grave stones are cotton candy machines, music playing, crowds of people laughing. It couldn’t be more irreverent.

Then, to honor these presumably devout, pious Christians who were falsely accused of witchcraft, one of whose last words were, “I am wholly innocent”, 15 feet away we open a witchcraft shop operated and frequented by people who are serious about practicing witchcraft.

I get that the town is doing what it can to raise money but there could at least be a modicum of respect paid directly around these people’s graves. Shame on the town for doing this.


Note that this is about the _second_ witch trial, a civil case between two members of a weird pseudoscientific cult.

Also, regarding the first trials, the really inappropriate thing would be some Christian stall, as it would glorify the perpetrators. I don’t see anything wrong with witchcraft stalls - they are at worst neutral.


I vouched for your comment here. But looking at your comment history, your comments seem to be killed due to spamming (too many in a short time, especially for a new account). Maybe you could avoid it, if you turned it down a bit.


Either the victims are dead and don't care whether there's a witchcraft shop, or there's a life after death and you have no idea how the victims feel about the witchcraft shop. Maybe they find it amusing.


Would you demand the same amount of reverence if the people who were murdered by their fellow citizens were not "devout, pious Christians" and were instead "people who are serious about practicing witchcraft"?


Salem has always promoted the topic as a titillating spectacle about the possibility of witches, starting with the trials themselves.

One of the main places the hysteria occurred was the distinct location of Salem Village, which is now modern day Danvers. There is quiet memorial next to a school, with no tourist traps.


> Then, to honor these presumably devout, pious Christians who were falsely accused of witchcraft, one of whose last words were, “I am wholly innocent”, 15 feet away we open a witchcraft shop operated and frequented by people who are serious about practicing witchcraft.

Even if the town wanted to prevent serious witches from opening up shop, how could they? Any ordinance forbidding it would violate the First Amendment.

Besides, barring witches from their town would just show they learned nothing.


To be fair, the "witchcraft" the people of Salem were accused of bears no resemblance at all to modern neopaganism, despite efforts within that community to retcon a persecution narrative and religious provenance for themselves out of the witch trials.

Also, capitalism gonna capitalize. Famous graves and locations of violent and gruesome events commonly become tourist attractions.


I think that if the people of 1600s Salem saw modern paganism, they would see little difference. Of course they would also not react well to all manner of aspects of our multi-faith culture. I dare say that most HN readers would be liable for blasphemy of some sort. If held to 17th century standards of Christian behavior, most all of us are probably deserving of some variation of the death penalty.


In what way are the accusers less piuos and devout than the accused?


Location aside, this trial has nothing to do with “The” Salem Witch trials of 1692.


Moreover, it was a civil lawsuit and not a criminal trial and it was thrown out by the judge.


Even the location was different.

The neither of the cases regarded events taking place in the town of Salem.




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