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Salem witch trials get a second look

By G. Jeffrey Macdonald

For centuries, scholars have wondered how a farming village in 1692 could have become so hysterically anxious that magistrates would order 20 executions for crimes of witchcraft.

Now a new documentary film about the infamous Salem Witch Trials is stirring fresh debate by heaping blame on the local minister, the Rev. Samuel Parris.

Scholars agree that Parris played a central role, but they’re divided on whether he deserves the villainous treatment he receives in the film, “Salem Witch Hunt: Examine the Evidence.”

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