SALEM: UNMASKING THE DEVIL:
Who was really responsible for the witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts? New evidence reveals a tale more shocking than anyone suspected. In January 1696, two girls – the daughter and the niece of a Puritan minister, Samuel Parris – start to display strange behaviour. The town’s physician diagnoses possession, and a mass witchhunt ensues. Across Essex County, 144 people are arrested, five die in jail, and 20 people are executed for dealings in witchcraft. But who was responsible for this mass hysteria and the most notorious witch trials in American history? New evidence points the finger at Samuel Parris himself, and suggests this embittered Puritan minister managed the witch-hunt in a desperate rear-guard action against his enemies.
BBC Knowledge at 10pm