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Susannah Sheldon

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Susannah Sheldon, a refugee from Maine, was eighteen years of age during the time of the witchcraft crisis at Salem Village. As one of the core group of allegedly afflicted girls, Sheldon made claims of afflictions for the first time during the last week of April 1692. Four days following the accusation that Minister George Burroughs was the leader of the suspected witches, Sheldon allegedly began experiencing “strange spectral encounters" and on April 24 identified the wealthy New England merchant, Philip English, as her tormentor. Sheldon was the first to accuse Philip English and the Boston merchant, Hezekiah Usher of witchcraft and throughout the crisis, she claimed to experience afflictions caused by Goody Buckley, Bridget Bishop, Mary English, Martha Corey, John Willard, Sarah Good, Lydia Dustin, John Proctor, Elizabeth Proctor, Phillip and Mary English, and George Burroughs. Altogether, Sheldon filed twenty-four legal complaints against her alleged tormentors. Throughout the trial, Sheldon allegedly experienced apparitions from specters attempting to persuade her to sign the devil’s book, visions from the dead, visual manifestations from familiars of snakes and yellow birds  ( Wikipedia article )

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