The Imaginary Realms of
Gilbert M. Stack

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Today in History: The Last Salem Witch Trial

Posted by Gilbert Stack on May 14, 2018 at 4:50 AM

On this day (May 14) in 1878 the last of the Salem Witch Trials was held nearly two hundred years after the first such trials. In this civil case, Lucretia Brown accused Daniel Spofford of attempting to harm her through the use of his “mesmeric” powers. Both were early Christian Scientists who believed illness was an illusion that could be cured by prayer alone. Founder of Christian Science, Mary Eddy, taught that through the use of “Malicious Animal Magnetism” (MAM) (possibly a form of hypnosis) mental harm could be brought on another person. Lucretia Brown, an invalid since childhood, believed that she had been cured through the power of prayer by Christian Science and that her relapses were caused by Spofford using MAM on her after he was expelled from the religion. The case was dismissed on May 17.

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