I needed more information about the witch trials so I sought out some books. I found this one to be more helpful than anything I’d come across online – and an interesting read. It had a lot of information about the Salem Witch Trials and painted a good picture about how ridiculous and scary some of the activities there surrounded witches really were.
Cotten was a witch hunter back then, and he wrote a book called ‘The Invisible World’ about the witch hunt proceedings in Salem and parts around it. I found the original 1960s writings on a university website. I tried my best to read them, and probably got a few chapters in (although I’m not sure how much I really understood.) From what I read he didn’t seem to be of much help – and talked about the devil more than solid proof.Salem was a good village for me to choose mostly because of the information available about it, it’s not extremely well documented, but there was enough to go off to paint a good picture of the place. It was a highly religious puritan village with around 600 people. Over a hundred died because of witch accusations, which was a large portion of their community. Most of the accusations were of members of the community saying that they had been attacked by a ‘Specter’ which to them was a spirit possessed by the devil in the shape of a witch.
In the case of Rebecca Nurse, I suspect like most others she wasn’t very well liked – and an easy target for the community to accuse her. The accused would often before and after court be thrown into a barn and chained up with the others until they either were publically killed or set free. Often they were set free if they named other witches – the hardest part would have been admitting to witchcraft in the small chance they’ll let you live for information. This is the sort of dark and corrupted atmosphere I want to set my environment. As soon as I read this I was excited to create a graveyard. I also wanted to add the date on the tombstones, as the players enter that area it can be a clue as to where they are.
Hanging was a large part of the Salem Witch trails. Most of the executions were hangings. I want to add a noose into the scene – but the physics and modeling of it might be out of my skill range. Although I will think of something. The idea behind this environment is to show how deadly this place was. I feel like it wouldn’t work without their weapon of choice. It was interesting to look into other countries as well, and see how it worked in other parts of the world. Some of these instruments would have been great to put in my scene if only I didn’t keep it local.