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Winona Ryder as Abigail Williams in The Crucible

Abigail Williams (1680 - 1697?) was one the key accusers in the Salem Witch trials incident which killed at least thirty-nine accused witches and left approximately 150 people imprisoned.

The Beginnings of the Witch Trials of 1692

Abigail came to live with her uncle, the local minister Samuel Parris after her parents were murdered in an Indian raid. When she was eleven, she and her cousin Betty Parris began showing signs of abnormal behavior. For example, she and Betty attempted to climb through the chimney, and it was also reported that Abigail's body bent in ways that weren't humanly possible. However, recent discoveries infer that Abigail and Betty lied about being tormented by a witch, and were acting out for attention.

Because of their claims, mass hysteria reigned. Approximately twenty people were put to death due to false accusations of them being witches. On February 29, 1692, three more women were found guilty of the crime of witchcraft. Of those three women included: Sarah Good, Sarah Osbourne, and Tituba, one of Parris' servants. Only Tituba confessed to the charges. Good was hanged, and Osbourne died in captivity. Tituba herself was sentenced to do hard time, but she was released a year later by being bailed out by an unknown person. However, the hunt for witches didn't cease and soon spread leading to the deaths of nineteen more people.

It's unknown what became of Abigail Williams after everything was said and done, and it's unknown if she was ever held accountable for these tragedies.

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