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Sarah Good

Sarah Good was one of the first to be accused of witchcraft by the circle of young girls in Salem. She was a likely witch in the eyes of many townspeople—an odd homeless woman who did not fit the Puritan mold.
 
The people of Salem were very familiar with Sarah Good. She often begged door-to-door with her children. If she were refused, she would walk away mumbling. Many claimed these “curses” were responsible for failed crops and death of livestock.
 
On March 1, 1692, Sarah Good faced examination with two other accused witches, Sarah Osburne and Tituba, Reverend Parris’s Caribbean slave. During the questioning, Ann Putnam, Betty Parris, and Abigail Williams shrieked and fell into fits. Sarah Good pleaded, “I am falsely accused,” but then Tituba named her as a witch. Several villagers—including her own husband—also testified against her, and Sarah was put in prison.
 
Then on March 24, Ann Putnam accused Sarah’s five-year-old daughter, Dorcas, of witchcraft. When examined, the imaginative young child confessed that she and her mother were witches. She showed the magistrates a red spot on her finger—most likely a flea bite—claiming it was from a snake her mother had given her. Little Dorcas was put in prison, chained to a wall.
 
Sarah Good was tried on June 30. Despite no evidence other than the claims of the afflicted girls, she was found guilty. She was one of five women to be hanged on July 19, 1692. Just before the hanging, the other women prayed and asked God to forgive the accusers, but Sarah Good showed no sign of forgiveness. Local minister Reverend Nicholas Noyes urged her to confess, announcing that she was indeed a witch. Sarah Good replied: “I am no more a witch than you are a wizard, and if you take away my life, God will give you blood to drink.”
 
Twenty-five years later, Reverend Noyes died of internal bleeding, choking on his own blood.


During Sarah Good’s examination, she broke down from Judge Hathorne’s questioning and named a witch. Who did she accuse of tormenting the girls? Read an excerpt from the examination.
 
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