Today marks the day of the first hanging in what would eventually become known as the Salem Witch Trials.
Bridget Bishop was tried for witchcraft, gaining more accusations than any other alleged witch on trial. After pleading innocent, she was found guilty. She was hanged in Salem on June 10, 1692.
According to the History Channel, “Bishop, known around town for her dubious moral character, frequented taverns, dressed flamboyantly (by Puritan standards), and was married three times.’’ (Gasp!)
The first women in the coastal Massachusetts town to be charged with witchcraft were Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba, an Indian slave from Barbados, in March 1692.
Good was hanged on July 19, 1692, Osborne died in prison on May 10, 1692, and Tituba was released from jail and sold to a new master, according to the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s chronology of the trials.
The Salem Witch Trials would lead to 150 incriminations, and nineteen people total were hanged between June and October 1692, which was when the trials ended. Those who had been awaiting trial were released.
Today in Salem, you can see witch trial reenactments in the Old City Hall and you can walk through the cemetery where there is a Witch Trials Memorial to Bishop and the others that were hanged.