Tituba confesses

According to records, Tituba had been severely beaten by Parris for several days before her appearance in court on March 1, 1693, and scholars conclude that he gave her instructions about what to say. When it was her turn to speak she told the audience exactly what they wanted to hear, but only after provocation (deliberately causing anger in someone) from Hathorne. The proceedings began with Hathorne's trademark style of questioning, which was relentless and emotional. He asked Tituba about her associations with evil spirits and she said she had none. As described in A Delusion of Satan, he then asked her why she was hurting the children and she answered, "They do no harm to me, I not hurt them at all." Ignoring her answer, Hathorne asked her why she had bewitched the girls, as if she had just confessed to a crime. She responded by saying again, "I have done nothing: I can't tell when the Devil works." Hathorne then pressed further by asking Tituba what connection she had to the devil and again demanding to be told who was hurting the children. To this Tituba replied vaguely, "The Devil for ought I know," which Hathorne chose to take as a confession. When he asked for a description of the devil or whoever was responsible for the bewitching, suddenly Tituba began to cooperate. Her demeanor (behavior) changed and she seemed to be trying to save her own life, which she knew was in danger. It was also commonly known that the only chance of escaping death during witchcraft charges was to confess.

According to A Delusion of Satan, Tituba started by admitting she had seen something "like a man," and the audience sat quietly as she described the devil himself. Spurred on by the reaction of the court, she admitted to being a witch, a fact that shocked the audience and sent the girls into hysterics. As described in Witchcraft at Salem, Tituba admitted that "The Devil came to [her] and bid [her] to serve him." She said the Devil had sometimes appeared as a tall man dressed in black with white hair, and other times disguised as an animal (called a familiar) such as a rat or a cat. According to The Devil in Massachusetts, he said he was God and requested her service for six years: "He tell me he God and I must believe and serve him six years . . . the first time I believe him God he glad." He had brought her the witches' book in which she had entered her name and seen the names of nine other people, two of whom were Good and Osborne. Tituba claimed she had ridden with the women on a broomstick to a strange place and described the familiars the women had with them. One was a yellow bird that sucked Good's hand and the other had wings and legs but the head of a woman.

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