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Progress in Pediatrics
May 1943

PEDIATRIC ASPECTS OF THE SALEM WITCHCRAFT TRAGEDY: A LESSON IN MENTAL HEALTH

Author Affiliations

HARTFORD, CONN.

Am J Dis Child. 1943;65(5):788-802. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1943.02010170110015
Abstract

I  From the innermost recesses of his Puritan heart and soul, the Rev. Samuel Parris hated Sin. He hated all the Evil Angels, the Devil, Venomous Pilot of Hell; above all, he hated Shee-Witches and the whole Damned and Detestable Art of Witchcraft. Fate was indeed unkind to Parris, for when the terrible stench of witchcraft first became discernible in his little, secluded, backwoods parish of Salem Village, his own daughter Elizabeth and his niece Abigail were the very first to be afflicted. Though the real facts are rather obscure, according to all historical accounts it was actually Tituba, his West Indian servant girl, who initiated the events that culminated in the Salem tragedy, when, during some unexciting winter days and nights, she told weird tales and taught tricks of magic or sorcery to a group of imaginative girls who came to play in the Parris home. At any rate,

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