A Brief History of the Salem Witch Trials
Several centuries ago, many practicing Christians, and those of other religions, had a strong belief that the Devil could give certain people known as witches the power to harm others in return for their loyalty. A “witchcraft craze” rippled through Europe from the 1300s to the end of the 1600s. Tens of thousands of supposed witches—mostly women—were executed. Though the Salem trials came on just as the European craze was winding down, local circumstances explain their onset.
The Salem witch trials occurred in colonial Massachusetts between 1692 and 1693. More than 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft—the Devil’s magic—and 20 were executed. Eventually, the colony admitted the trials were a mistake and compensated the families of those convicted. Since then, the story of the trials has become synonymous with paranoia and injustice, and it continues to beguile the popular imagination more than 300 years later.
- The Witch no.1 - The story of the witchcraft accusations, trials and executions that captured the imagination of writers and artists in the ensuing centuries; engraving by Joseph E. Baker, 1876.
- A girl is accused during the Salem Witch Trials; engraving by Howard Pyle.
- Witch Hill - A young woman is led to her execution during the Salem witchcraft trials; painting by Thomas Satterwhite.
- Witchcraft at Salem Village - The central figure of the courtroom is usually identified as Mary Walcott; engraving by William A. Crafts, 1876.
- Examination of a Witch by Tompkins H. Matteson, whose paintings are known for their historical, patriotic, and religious themes. Dozens of people from Salem and other Massachusetts villages were brought in and put to varying levels of questioning.Read the whole story at Smithsonian.
In the early years of space flight, both Russians and Americans used pencils in space. Unfortunately, pencil lead is made of graphite, a highly conductive material. Snapped graphite leads and particles in zero gravity are hugely problematic, as they will get sucked into the air ventilation or electronic equipment, easily causing shorts or fires in the pure oxygen environment of a capsule.
After the fire in Apollo 1 which killed all the astronauts on board, NASA required a writing instrument that wasn’t a fire hazard. Fisher spent over a million dollars (of his own money) creating a pressurized ball point pen, which NASA bought at $2.95 each. The Russian space program also switched over from pencils shortly after.
40 years later snide morons on the internet still snigger about it, because snide morons on the internet never know what they are talking about.
Creepy Art in Abandoned Psychiatric Hospitals
For a project entitled “1,000 Shadows,” Brazilian street artist Herbert Baglione invaded abandoned hospital wards in Madrid, Paris and other undisclosed locales to add ghostly shadows to the already eerie buildings.
Spindly, stretched ghosts emerge under doors, float through windows and emerge out of objects’ shadows.