Tituba was an enslaved woman, owned by Samuel Parris of Danvers, Massachusetts. Tituba was the first to be accused of practicing witchcraft during the 1692 Salem witch trials.
Little is known regarding Tituba's life prior to her enslavement. However, she became a pivotal figure in the witch trials when she confessed to witchcraft while also making claims that both Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne participated in said witchcraft.
the winter of 1691-92 is when Tituba—the Tituba of Salem—first appeared in the historical record.
Parris’ 9-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, and 11-year-old niece, Abigail Williams, were suffering repeated episodes of falling down, shaking and babbling. Speculation, even by their doctor, swirled around a supernatural source, perhaps even a curse.
In late February 1692, a neighbor of the Parrises, Mary Sibley, intervened. Seizing on the cure, she enlisted Tituba and John Indian to prepare an English folk recipe called a “witch-cake,” consisting of rye meal and the bewitched girls’ urine.
The object of the cake was a test: Once baked, it had to be served to a dog that, by digesting the grains and urine, would somehow draw the girls’ tormentors out.
there is no evidence that Tituba, the slave, had any particular interest, knowledge or skill in magic before she arrived in Salem and that the ritual she performed was based on English folk magic.
The girls “reported that Tituba’s specter followed them and clawed at them when she was nowhere near them.
When she was out of the room and out of their sight, Tituba learned, the girls knew where she was and what she was doing, leaving her to wonder if Goody Sibley’s charm hadopened the girls’ eyes to the Invisible World.
Tituba was taken into custody with two white women the girls also had accused Sarah Good and Sarah Osbourne.
At first, Tituba, too, denied involvement in any devilish activities, but it quickly became clear that that was not what her inquisitors wanted to hear.
Tituba flipped and told her judges a series of fabulous and ever-creepier stories filled with witch covens and evil spirits.
The court valued Tituba’s voice, as the magistrates believed her and considered the other two to be liars. Yet all three were sent to jail to await trial as Salem continued to spin out of control with accusations.
later released by Samuel Conklin, little to nothing is known about Tituba's life following her subsequent release.
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