8 Girls Lied…20 Died


  1. Is it possible for 8 teens to start a widespread panic throughout your town by making false accusations?
  2. How can spreading false accusations be dangerous?
  3. What is slander? Is it protected speech?

EXTRA CREDIT: Respond to 1 or more of the questions within this post. Want to earn extra credit and further your understanding? Respond to any or all of the questions in this post. Remember to use digital etiquette & the QUALITY COMMENTS Checklist to earn points.

  • Time travel back to 1692. Based on this primary source quote explain Puritan society’s expectations for children. “Ah, children, be afraid of going prayerless to bed, lest the devil be your bedfellow.” – Cotton Mather
  • Would a US court allow evidence that cannot be seen to convict and execute a defendant?
  • Scapegoating is sprinkled throughout history and continues even today. Provide examples of Scapegoating in current events or the recent past.
Discovery Education

The witch hunts of 1692 led to 20 executions. Accusations made by several young girls led to the executions of twenty innocent people.
Nineteen innocent people were hanged and one was pressed to death. An additional 4 people died while in jail. During an excruciating execution, Giles Corey’s last reported words were, “more rocks.”

Comparing and contrasting the Salem Witch Trials with the Japanese Internment Camps, McCarthyism, and the Holocaust enhance understanding.

We will watch the Discovery Channel’s “Salem Witch Trials” and the History Channel’s video that describes an alternate scenario as to why the young girls lied. Click on the image to watch the clip.

MOBILE DEVICES, Click on the Image to go directed to the Google Doc.

Play the NatGeo Salem Witch Trials Game by clicking HERE. Leave a comment and tell us: DID YOU SURVIVE?

3 thoughts on “8 Girls Lied…20 Died

  1. Hi Ms D, i was watching Good Morning Philadelphia and the news reporters said something that kind of connects to what we’re learning. You know how people work the “GraveYard shift” at their job… We’ll that got its name because back then down south, there was a plague. People were burying people alive and the people buried were waking up in coffins under the ground. So they attached a sting to a pole on the coffin and at the end of the string was a bell. If anyone happened to wake up, they could pull the string and the bell would ring indicating that the person was still alive. From dawn to dusk, they would have someone sitting in the graveyard, waiting for bells to be rang. That’s how we got the graveyard shift. I hope you find this information useful.

  2. Dear Ms. D,
    Would a US court allow evidence that cannot be seen to convict and execute a defendant?

    No, a US court would never allow the use unsubstantial evidence in the conviction of a defendant. Think about the phrase “Innocent until proven guilty.”. If the plaintiff has no incriminating evidence, and are resorting to phony evidence just to stay in court, they obviously have no case. No judge would ever sent an innocent man or woman to their death. (by the way, i did not survive the game ): )

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