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On This Day in History: First victims charged in Salem witch hunt

On this day in history, the infamous Salem witch hunt finds its first victims in the small Puritan community of Salem, Massachusetts.

The young daughter and niece of the local reverend began having fits and hallucinations, saying invisible spirits are pinching them. A doctor diagnosed them as suffering from witchcraft.

The girls named Sarah Goode, Sarah Osborne and a slave named Tituba as the culprits. Tituba confessed and told authorities there were even more witches in the town. This sparked a massive manhunt, encouraging all residents to begin naming each other as witches to the authorities.

The governor finally stepped in, replacing their local court and forbidding the sensational testimonies that were taking over. Executions ceased and everyone charged was pardoned. In the end, 150 were incriminated and 19 were executed.

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