Halloween Film Treat: The Salem Witch Trials
What were they so afraid of anyway?
-Charles Annenberg Weingarden, founder of explore.org
As Halloween creeps closer, legends of witches and ghouls will grab the imaginations of young people in America. I always wondered; what is a witch anyway and why would anyone need to be afraid of one, really?
So, I traveled to Salem, Massachusetts to speak with NY Times best-selling author, Katherine Howe and historians to take a look at the place where 19 people were persecuted and killed and to try and figure out what really happened there. There are many pieces to this spooky puzzle of history and they all center around one basic fact — men of the time were so threatened by something they didn’t understand that they used fear to stir up a bloody hysteria. “The devil made me do it” was a term coined by one of the accused.
After visiting Salem and speaking with experts I think those words are better suited for the townsfolk who created chaos from fear and exacted evil upon its citizens. Sometimes the scariest stuff is actually real.
Check out Explore.org’s short film now:
The Annenberg Foundation’s explore.org is a multimedia organization that documents leaders around the world who have devoted their lives to extraordinary causes. Both educational and inspirational, they create a portal into the soul of humanity by championing the selfless acts of others. Individuals and organizations featured in many explore films also receive explore funding in the form of Annenberg Foundation grants. To date, over $15 million has been awarded to more than 100 non-profit organizations worldwide.