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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

1692 Salem Was Ripe For Witch Trials

Horizons Town Talk speaker Rose Earhart -- yes, she's related to aviator Amelia Earhart -- was painting an all-too-vivid picture of Salem, Mass., and its road to the famed witch trials of 1692.

"Living conditions were abominable in Salem," said Earhart, who has penned an acclaimed historical novel on the subject and who lives in an allegedly haunted house in Salem.

"It was cold eight to nine months of the year. Damp with rain or snow a lot of the time. Foggy or misty. Dark. And the homes were hutlike -- one or two rooms at most, with no windows because windows were only for rich people.

Amid groans from the audience, Earhart raised the angst a notch when she started to address the claustrophobic religious atmosphere of the Puritans.

"The biggest fear of a Puritan was that someone, somewhere, might be happy. If you were happy, you'd go to hell. And they believed that before you were born, either God or the Devil had claimed your soul." Full Story

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