Rebecca Beatrice Brooks June 10, 2013 October 3, 2021 12 comments on Betty Parris: very first Afflicted Girl the the Salem Witch Trials

Elizabeth “Betty” Parris to be the very first afflicted girl and one the the main accusers throughout the Salem Witch Trials that 1692.

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Born in Boston ~ above November 28, 1682, Betty relocated to Salem through her family and slave Tituba in November of 1689 as soon as her father, Samuel Parris, to be appointed the new minister of Salem Village.

Betty Parris & the Salem Witch Trials:

In the winter of 1691-1692, several of the afflicted girls supposedly dabbled in fortune-telling techniques, such as a “venus glass” in which the girls dropped one egg white right into a glass that water so that a shape or prize appeared, in an effort to learn an ext about their future husbands and social status.

Although some sources suggest that it was Tituba who taught the girls these fortune-telling techniques, there is no cite of this in the court records and also no evidence that she to be involved.

According come the book A modest Enquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft by local minister, Reverend john Hale, on one of these occasions the girls ended up being terrified as soon as they saw the form of a coffin in the glass.


“The residence Where Witchcraft Started,” picture of the Salem town Parsonage, residence of Samuel Parris, Danvers, Mass, released in Witchcraft shown by Henrietta D. Kimball, circa 1892. This residence is actually just an addition that was included to the parsonage house in 1734. The original parsonage home was torn down in 1784 and this addition was then moved to Sylvan Street in Danvers.

Shortly after ~ the incident, Betty began behaving strangely in January that 1692, when she hid under furniture, complained of fever, barked favor a dog, screamed and also cried the end in pain.

Soon after, Abigail Williams additionally started showing the very same symptoms. Concerned, Samuel Parris dubbed for a regional doctor, that is thought to it is in Dr. Griggs, to research them.

Unable to discover anything physically wrong v the girls, the doctor established they have to be bewitched.

Hale defined the events in his publication A modest Enquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft:

“In the latter end of the year 1691, Mr. Samuel Parris, pastor of the church is Salem Village, had actually a daughter that nine, and a nephew of around eleven years of age, i m so sad afflicted of they knew no what distempers; and he do his applications to the physicians, yet still they grew worse: and at size one physician offered his opinion, the they were under an evil hand. This the neighbours easily took up, and also concluded they to be bewitched.

He had likewise an Indian man servant, and also his wife who afterward confessed, that without the expertise of their master or mistress, they had taken some of the afflicted people urine, and also mixing it with meal had made a cake, & baked it, to uncover out the witch, as they said.

After this, the afflicted persons cryed the end of the Indian woman, called Tituba, that she walk pinch, prick and grievously torment them, and that they witnessed her here and also there, where nobody rather could. However they might not tell wherein she was, and what she did, when out of your humane sight.

These kids were bitten and pinched through invisible agents: your arms, necks and also backs turn this method and the way, and returned earlier again, so as it was, difficult for castle to execute of themselves, and also beyond the power of any type of epileptick fits, or natural condition disease come effect. Sometimes they were taken dumb, their mouth flopped, their throats choaked, your limbs wracked and also tormented for this reason as might move an heart of stone, to sympathize through them, through bowels of compassion for them.”

Although the citizens of Salem believed the girls were bewitched, modern theories imply the girls were probably suffering from one of two people boredom, boy abuse, epilepsy, mental illness or also a disease brought on by eat fungus infected rye.

In an effort to cure Betty and also prevent she from gaining further associated in the witch trials, her parents sent her away from Salem town (which is now modern-day day Danvers) come live in the home of Samuel Parris’ cousin Stephen Sewall in Salem town.

According to the publication An Account of the Life, Character, & c. That Samuel Parris, Betty continued to have actually fits once living in the Sewall household yet eventually recovered:


“Tituba and the Children,” illustration by Alfred Fredericks, published in A Popular background of the joined States, circa 1878

“Parris appears to have been an extremely desirous of preventing his daughter, Elizabeth, indigenous participating in the excitement at the village. She was sent out by she father, in ~ the commencement of the delusion, to reside in ~ Salem through Capt. Stephen Sewall.

While there, the Captain and also his wife were lot discouraged in effecting a cure, together she continued to have actually sore fits. Elizabeth stated that the great black man, concerned her, and told her, if she would be rule by him, she need to have everything she desired, and go come a gold city.

She connected this to Mrs. Sewall, who automatically told the child it to be the devil, and he was a liar, and also bid her to tell him so if he came to her again; i m sorry she did accordingly the next time the black color man came to her. The devil, that it would certainly seem, unaccustomed, in those days, to experience such resistance, and utterly astonished at the cool impudence the Betty Parris, never troubled she afterwards; and, back this girl was among the first originators that the witchcraft delusion, in link with she cousin Abigail Williams, she shows up to have actually had, afterwards, but tiny to execute with witchcraft.

This emerged in repercussion of adhering to the sage advice the Mrs. Sewall, in acquiring rid the the devil; or, what was an ext probable, in her father acquisition her from the weekly one of accusing and bewitching girls, and placing she in a really respectable family in Salem.”

Although Betty’s name appeared on the very first complaint during the trials, she never ever testified in any court.

Betty Parris ~ the Salem Witch Trials:

The Salem Witch Trials finished in 1693 and Samuel Parris was later dismissed from his job, in 1697, after years of quarrels and lawsuits in between him and his parishioners.

Parris then relocated away native Salem through Betty and his family, serving together a preacher in Dunstable and then Sudbury, where Betty lived till adulthood.

In 1710, Betty married a shoemaker, named Benjamin Baron, and also had 4 children. She passed away at her home in Sudbury, Ma on march 21, 1760.

Betty Parris showed up as a sustaining character in Arthur Miller’s 1953 beat The Crucible. In the play, Betty accuses her cousin Abigail Williams the practicing witchcraft and also drinking blood in stimulate to kill John Proctor’s mam Elizabeth, although this did not occur in real life.

Although plenty of of the Salem residents associated in the witch trials were instantly remorseful for their actions and also apologized for what they had done, Betty Parris never ever issued one apology.

Only one of the afflicted girls, Ann Putnam Jr., ever apologized for she actions during the Salem Witch Trials.

The website of the Salem town Parsonage, where Betty Parris lived at the time of the Salem Witch Trials, was excavated in 1970 and also is open up to visitors.

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Betty Parris historical Sites:

Salem village Parsonage historical SiteAddress: behind 67 centre Street, Danvers, Ma (site is easily accessible via a cart path)

Sources:Fowler, Samuel P. An Account that the Life, Character, & c. The Samuel Parris. William Ives and also George W. Pease, 1857.Mather, Cotton. The marvels of the Invisible World. Man Dunton, 1693.Boyer, Paul Samuel. Salem Possessed: The Social beginnings of Witchcraft. Harvard university Press, 1974.Norton, mary Beth. In the Devil’s Snare: The Salem Witchcraft dilemm of 1692. Vintage Books, 2002.Roach, Marilynne K. The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-by-day Chronicle the A community Under Siege. Taylor profession Publishing, 2004.Goss, K David. The Salem Witch Trials: A recommendation Guide. Greenwood Press, 2008.Hale, John. A usual Enquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft. B. Green and J. Allen, 1702.