October 24, 2005

Witches Ball

The women of The Cotillion celebrate Halloween!

The Salem Witch Trials of 1692
A Brief Introduction

The events which led to the Witch Trials actually occurred in what is now the town of Danvers, then a parish of Salem Town, known as Salem Village. Launching the hysteria was the bizarre, seemingly inexplicable behavior of two young girls; the daughter, Betty, and the niece, Abigail Williams, of the Salem Village minister, Reverend Samuel Parris.

In February, 1692, three accused women were examined by Magistrates Jonathan Corwin and John Hathorne. Corwin's home, known as the Witch House, still stands at the corner of North and Essex Streets in Salem, providing guided tours and tales of the first witchcraft trials. John Hathorne, an ancestor of author Nathaniel Hawthorne, is buried in the Charter Street Old Burying Point.

By the time the hysteria had spent itself, 24 people had died. Nineteen were hanged on Gallows Hill in Salem Town, but some died in prison. Giles Corey at first pleaded not guilty to charges of witchcraft, but subsequently refused to stand trial. This refusal meant he could not be convicted legally. However, his examiners chose to subject him to interrogation by the placing of stone weights on his body. He survived this brutal torture for two days before dying.
Critics blamed the Bush administration for such practices.

That's the story of the Salem Witch Trials that Arthur Miller popularized in The Crucible. It's the story of damage done by lies. Kinda like something Newsweek would do.

Thankfully, the Cotillion's star investigative reporter - Jane at Armies of Liberation - puts a little more thought into her reporting, and doesn't go shooting her mouth off without anything to back her up. This week she takes a break from trying to get assassinated by the Yemenis to bring us a story about the USS Cole.

Sondra K over at Knowledge is Power is warning you away. Beware, lest she hex you in her wrath!

Sadie at Fist Full of Fortnights is feeling equally wicked, complaining of useless emails. I'd watch out, for she the virus she sends your way may well be boils in uncomfortable places!

Dr. Sanity sings us a Washington sea chanty, invoking the spirit of Eliza Doolittle.

Denita TwoDragons at Who Tends the Fires is in the kitchen, cooking the autumn feast for the witches ball. Tree-hugging vegetarians celebrating the solstice need not enter her kitchen!

The American Princess
discusses Harriet Miers' views of abortion - and more disturbingly - her love life.

Oddybobo at Bobo Blogger brings us a heartfelt glimpse into her trip to Korea to visit her ailing uncle.

Zendo Deb reminds us that class is not protection from domestic abuse. Over at The Wheelgun, she lays out some scary statistics about how wealth can't always guard you against evil.

The Grey Tie is vexed not only by illegal immigrants, but by the bleeding hearts who would aid them on their stealthy into America.

MaxedOutMama brings us sage advice regarding property investment and real estate. We should heed the wisdom of her words.

Little Miss Atilla brings us some highlights from the Liberty Film Festival.

There was a time that those who suffered mental illness and retardation were thought to be changelings, or possessed by evil spirits. Wikipedia has this to say:

In prehistoric times, mental illnesses were assumed to stem from magical beings that interfered with the mind. Individual tribes and groups of shamans had their own spells and rituals that they used to attempt to cure such mental illnesses. Often, such rituals took the form of exorcisms, in which the shaman would attempt to coax the evil spirit that was causing the disorder from the body. In some prehistoric societies, a primitive form of surgery was used to attempt to exercise the malignant spirits. Trepanation (also spelled trephination), the practice of drilling a hole through part of the skull without damaging the brain, was believed to allow the spirits trapped inside the skull to release. Skulls with trepanning holes dating back more than 10,000 years have been found in Neolithic Europe and South America. In fact, the presence of calluses on the surfaces of many skulls recovered showed that the operation had a surprisingly high recovery rate.

Not so today. Humanity would never allow for such atrocities. No sir. Today we just destroy the damaged goods while still in the womb. Raven of And Rightly So! brings us the story of Margaret - a child with Downs - and the mother who sees her as a human being.

While witches may not ride broomsticks over your humble suburban bungalow, and werewolves may not raid your henhouse by the light of a silvery full moon, it does not mean that you should be complacent, believing there is no evil afoot. There is, and it is far more gruesome than you could imagine. Even Roman Polanski never saw this one coming: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes (now why did that relationship make me think of Polanski??) are pregnant! Charmaine at Reasoned Audacity brings us the case for the return of shame.

And since it's Halloween, check out Sisu for the obligatory cat picture, and read about the fairy princesses of the stage.

Have a wonderful and spookey Halloween, everyone. May it be charmed...

Cross posted at Girl on the Right, where there are more pictures, because the formatting isn't so wonky. Must be possessed.

Posted by RightGirl at October 24, 2005 09:45 PM

'Tis a thing of beauty, m'dear! Great work, as always! :-)


Posted by: Denita TwoDragons at October 24, 2005 10:16 PM

Great Job RGirl! As always.

Posted by: Raven at October 25, 2005 08:52 AM

Trackback didn't work. Here's my post re this FAB post:

"A cool, witchy pin-up graphic"

Posted by: Sissy Willis at October 25, 2005 01:38 PM