Year 1692 :: The first victim of the Salem Witch Trials was hanged

The infamous Salem Witch Trials were a series of investigations and prosecutions that began during the spring of 1692, after a group of young girls in Salem Village, Massachusetts, demonstrated strange fits and behaviours and were suspected of being possessed by the devil. In the midst of mass hysteria, a special court was set up in Salem to hear the cases and the first convicted witch, Bridget Bishop, was hanged in June. In the course of the next few months, hundreds of people were accused and by the end of the trials, 19 people had been hanged while 5 had died in custody. Although by the end of 1692, the hysteria began to lose steam and public opinion turned against the trials, the event became a popular cautionary example of mass hysteria and religious fanaticism. Watch this video on what caused the Salem Witch Trials here.