The Witch

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I am not a fan of horror movies. I tend to watch half of the movie with my eyes closed and I fly about two feet out of my chair at any little jump-scare trick on the screen. In the spirit of Halloween, every October I attempt to watch one horror film. This year it was the The Witch directed by Dave Eggers. I had been told by a friend that even though I did not like horror movies, but as someone who enjoys learning about history, I would love this movie. They were right. The movie takes place in 17th century New England and follows a family who is forced to leave their community and venture into the wilderness alone. Upon building their new home strange occurrences begin as a witch from the nearby woods start to infiltrate the family’s home. The movie does a great job of presenting the time period and the beliefs about Witches that were prevalent during those days. The movie also reminded me about a good book I had read by Stacy Schiff called The Witches: Salem, 1692.  The book provides a look at the hysteria surrounding that moment in history. Providing a look at how the accusations started, the trials themselves began, and the eventual end of this dark period in time.  If you are interested in learning more about that time in history I would recommend Schiff’s book.   Also, here are some other books available through LBPH about on the same topic.

The Witches: Salem 1692
Schiff, Stacy
DB 83010
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Cleopatra (DB 72130) examines the Salem Witch Trials, which began in 1692 in Massachusetts, ending less than a year later with nineteen men and women hanged. Schiff details how the panic spread during a pivotal moment of American history. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2015.

In the Devil’s Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692
Norton, Mary Beth
DB 63268
Historian examines the link between the Essex County, Massachusetts, witchcraft trials of 1691-1693 and the two-decade-long First and Second Indian Wars that decimated northern New England. Interprets the events through the eyes of the colony’s pre-Enlightenment Puritan residents, and focuses on the accusers, confessors, and judges. 2002.

The Crucible
Miller, Arthur
DB 32974
This four-act play is based on the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692 and investigates the consequences of fear and insecurity. 1981.

I Wish I’D Been There: Twenty Historians Bring to Life Dramatic Events that Changed America
Hollinshead, Byron
DB 66476
Historians portray events from U.S. history that they would have liked to witness firsthand. Mary Beth Norton examines the Salem witchcraft trials. Paul Nagel imagines himself at the 1841 Amistad trial. Thomas Fleming joins the 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry. Clayborne Carson remembers the 1963 March on Washington. 2006.