In giving these details, Tituba was confirming the earlier testimony of the afflicted girls, who had described these very creatures. She also said that Good and Osborne had forced her to pinch the girls, whom she would never willingly harm, and that the women had helped the devil bully her into these acts. Tituba went so far as to say the women had come to her as specters (spirits or demons) and forced her to try to kill one of the main accusers, Ann Putnam, Jr. (see biography and primary source entries), with a knife. A few days earlier Putnam had spent hours in convulsions, screaming that someone was trying to cut her head off with a knife. Though nobody had been able to see this force, Tituba's words were confirming Putnam's experience. This statement sent the girls into violent fits, and when Tituba was questioned about who was afflicting them she accused Good. Confirming her accusation, the girls fell into even wilder convulsions. Then Tituba claimed to have been struck blind, a common sign of a witch renouncing (rejecting) her calling.
What happened to Tituba?
Tituba's confession may have saved her own life but it did not prevent the tide of future accusations. After the first interrogation, more and more people throughout the region were being accused of witchcraft. Tituba's words had confirmed Salem's deepest fears about the existence of evil in their midst. It had also sealed the fate of Osborne and Good, who were eventually executed. Tituba's suggestion that she had seen other names in the devil's book only heightened the hysteria. She was never again questioned in court or brought to trial, but sat languishing in a jail cell until May 1693, when Massachusetts governor William Phipps (1651-1695) ordered all accused witches remaining in jail to be set free. Prisoners were responsible for their own jailing fees, and since Tituba was Parris's property, her fees were his to pay. Parris sold her to another slave owner to recover his expenses, but records do not give any details about her life after that.
m Tituba Tries to Spare ^^ John Indian
When Sarah Osborne complained of having seen something "like an Indian" that had tormented her, the public imagination could certainly have turned to John Indian as the spectral culprit. This could have led to his arrest and death, but surprisingly he was never questioned for anything other than his own fits. He started having fits directly after the first hearing in the Salem trials, probably to deflect the attention away from himself as a possible culprit. John Indian was saved, however, when his wife Tituba focused attention on Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne with her fantastic descriptions of their activities together. Tituba's skillfully told tale prevented her husband from being imprisoned or in any other way affected by charges of witchcraft.
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