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March 14th, 1692 – Monday

This entry was posted on Mar 14 2011

Salem Village Meeting House Over the weekend Ann Putnam, Jr. continued to report being tortured by the apparition of Martha Corey, who was Giles Corey’s third wife and a full member of the Salem Village church.  Ann’s uncle Edward Putnam and neighbor Ezekiel Cheever set out to investigate by asking young Ann about the specter’s clothing.  She claimed she could not see the Invisible World that day, but only felt the torment.

When Edward and Ezekiel traveled on to find Martha Corey on her farm, she seemed to already know the purpose of their visit; “…Does she tell you what clothes I have on?”  They explained that Ann had been blinded so no comparison between the specter’s clothing and her own physical attire could be made.  Goody Corey was not intimidated.

Meanwhile, in Salem town, Martha’s phantom was reportedly plaguing Mary Warren, John and Elizabeth Proctor’s twenty-one year old servant.  John Proctor had his own treatment for this affliction.  He kept Mary spinning at the wheel and threatened to beat her if she had any more outbreaks.  This method seemed to work until he had to leave the home for a day, and without his presence, she deteriorated back into fits.

Later in the weekend, Ann Putnam, Jr. claimed to be afflicted by yet another ghost, that of an indistinguishable woman.  Her mother, Ann Putnam, Sr., and their maid Mercy Lewis – a refugee from the wars in Maine – hoped to discover the identity by suggesting a few names to the ill young girl.   She confirmed that of Rebecca Nurse who, though a member of the Salem town church, often attended Village meetings, which was closer to her family farm

By Monday, Abigail Williams said the invisible forces of Martha Corey and Elizabeth Proctor were causing her convulsions.  Giles Corey had reported that one of his oxen was unable to rise and work though it had walked moments before.  Later the ox rose and stood as if nothing had been wrong.  Then his cat seemed to become ill as if on the verge of death.  Martha recommended hitting the creature on the head, but Giles refused and the cat recuperated as inexplicably as the ox.

Giles Corey had a checkered reputation himself:  it had been evidenced that he’d stolen dry goods from Justice Corwin’s father and rumored that he’d beaten a handyman to death.  Giles had a few run-ins with his neighbor Robert Moulton who called him “contentious” and “quarrelsome” and went as far as accusing him of stealing twelve bushels of apples.  John Proctor had accused Corey of setting fire to his house, and the two sued each other until it was discovered that the true culprit had been one of Proctor’s own sons who confessed to the accident.

Works Referenced:

Roach, Marilynne K.  The Salem Witch Trials :  A Day-By-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Seige.  New York.  Cooper Square Press.  2002.

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