September 28 (September 18, o.s.)

Massachusetts: Giles Corey, who refused the previous day to agree to be tried for witchcraft by the Court of Oyer and Terminer in Salem Town, continues to endure the long, slow, painful process of crushing as punishment.  More weight is added to the load already on him, but he still refuses to back down.  The weight has reached a point where it is quite clear that he will die if any more is added.

In the evening, Ann Putnam, one of the original afflicted girls of Salem Village, suffers terrible fits.  When she finally comes out of them she tells her father, Thomas Putnam, that she saw the apparition of a man who said Giles Corey had murdered him by “pressing him to death with his feet” and that Corey immediately afterward made a covenant with the Devil, who promised him that he would not be hanged for it.  The ghost further said that Corey was brought to court for this but somehow escaped punishment, and that, though this all happened before she was born, her father should know about it.

When Thomas Putnam hears his daughter’s story, he does indeed remember the incident in question, and is surprised to realize that he had forgotten about it.  He recalls that about seventeen years earlier a man who was living with Corey died suddenly and mysteriously, and a coroner’s jury found extensive bruising that seemed to have led to his death and concluded that he had been murdered.  Corey, however, managed to keep the court from charging him with the murder by paying a large sum of money.

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Published in: on September 28, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments Off on September 28 (September 18, o.s.)  
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