Salem Witch Trials: Part 1
As you can see, the above yellow bird is nowhere near frightening. If only you knew its fearsome history. This bird was the accused familiar (a witch's "pet" that helped her practice magic better) of the good woman Martha Corey, who had been accused of being a witch. Ann Putnam Jr. claimed to have seen that yellow bird when she was visited by formidable spectors as she lay in her bed at night. When it appeared in church with Goody -short for Goodwife-Corey, accusations rose like a very large balloon filled with helium on a windy day. Everyone knew that if you had a familiar, you were instantly condemned to the awful crime of being a witch. Martha Corey was one of the 19 witches who was hanged on the infamous Gallows Hill.
Now to Tituba, one of the most daunting cases of all. This Norwegian woman was a servant, and when her chores were done, she would entertain "the girls" of the house with tales of her land, Norway, which is well-known for its ghost stories. Not many people knew of this, but the girls enjoyed it, Tituba was getting her work done and there was no harm of it...right?
Not so, for the girl were soon trouble by unseen phantoms, and they began to call out to imaginary people, and see imaginary creatures, from a beastly thing Tituba referred to as "the devil, for all I know" to the yellow bird, Martha Corey's familiar. When Tituba did the "egg-in-the-glass" (a Norwegian custom to see a future husband) for Betty, Tituba's master's daughter, she saw a coffin, the symbol for a dead husband in her future. Strangely, however, no one else could see it but the girls-and Tituba. People began to accuse her of being a witch, of hurting "the girls." Then came Sarah Good and Sarah Osbourne. The 3 were questioned, first separately, then in a group. The Sarahs refused for 3 solid days -note the 3's in this "story" are strong, as in a fairy tale- but on the end of the 3 days Tituba confessed. She was confessing for 3 days -notice-, and her confession included red rats, talking cats, and tall men in black. (Again, 3.) Anyway, Tituba said that this man was evil ("the devil, maybe") and he made her sign a book. She said that the names of 5 other women were in it, the names of the Sarahs and 3 women from Boston she did not know. She said they rode to the houses of the "afflicted" (not mentioning their method of transportation) and that she was in front, and the Sarah's were behind her. She said that they both had familiars - Sarah Good's were a cat and a yellow bird. Sarah Osbourne's were most unusual (one with wings, two legs, and a head similar to that of a woman's and one "all over hairy, all the face hairy, with a long nose, ..... two or three feet high, and goes upright like a man..")
In conclusion, witchcraft was/is a sort of random, roaming idea. Not all familiars were frightening, not all witches were female, sometimes they might actually have been witches... depends on what you believe. If you thought someone was a witch in that year, you would gather evidence that "proved" them guilty. In those years, no one really knew whether people were telling the truth, and still don't. People have posted their "ideas, theories, thoughts, or even proof" that someone was lying, or someone was telling the truth.