Salem witch trials  

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The Salem witch trials, begun in 1692 (also known as the Salem witch hunt and the Salem Witchcraft Episode), resulted in a number of convictions and executions for witchcraft in both Salem Village and Salem Town, Massachusetts. Some have argued it was the result of a period of factional infighting and Puritan witch hysteria. The trials resulted in the executions of 20 people (14 women, 6 men) and the imprisonment of between 175 and 200 people. In addition to those executed, at least five people died in prison. One man who refused to plead to the charges was pressed to death with rocks (the medieval torture of peine forte et dure, which, if fatal, did not result in forfeiture of property).

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