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The Witches of Salem: The Horror and the Hope (1972)

| Short
An authentic, chilling account of the 1692 witch-hunting trials. The sensuality of the West Indies. Hypnotic stories of a Barbados slave. References to magic and the Devil. A few young, ... See full summary »

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Hale
Margo Ann Berdeshevsky ...
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Victoria Boothby ...
Mrs. Putnam
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Burroughs
Irene Bunde ...
Myra Carter ...
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Sarah Churchill
Chase Crosley ...
Mrs. Parris
Lois De Banzie ...
Deliverance Hobbs
Donald Jarrell ...
Green
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Will Barker
Caren Kaye ...
Betty Lynd ...
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An authentic, chilling account of the 1692 witch-hunting trials. The sensuality of the West Indies. Hypnotic stories of a Barbados slave. References to magic and the Devil. A few young, sheltered, girls experience seizures, hallucinations, inability to speak and cries of pain and an entire community takes their behavior as proof that they are bewitched. Thus, begins the wtich-hunting trials of 1692. Written by John Philips <jsphilips@yahoo.com>

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Helter Skelter - coming down fast in 1692
25 April 2011 | by (Japan) – See all my reviews

A 35 minute short made to supplement high school history class comprehension of the Salem witch trials. Filmed documentary-style on location at Pioneer Village in desolate fall weather. The script is taken from the actual court records of the trials. This may explain some of the plot line lacunae which the previous reviewer is complaining about.

That reviewer is definitely right about the bewitching and hallucinations among the teenage puritans - it must have had students rolling in the aisles. Hilarity not withstanding, this film has solid educational value and could still be used in classrooms today. It's factual, it doesn't condescend and it gives a clear example of why separation between church and state is a desirable thing.

Viewers raised on 70s TV will recognize numerous familiar faces from made-for-TV-movies, cop shows and sit-coms of the era.


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