Sarah Osborne: The Accused
May 10th of 1692, Sarah Osborne (formerly known as Sarah Warren) died in jail. Sarah was one of the first three women to be accused of witchcraft in the Salem witch trials of 1692.
When two girls, Betty Parris and Abigail Williams became ill, they accused Sarah Osborne of witchraft, leading to the witchcraft examinations of Sarah Osborne, Sarah Good, and a servant by the name of Tituba. This was the beginning of the Salem witch trials, and many others were “examined” thereafter.
Sarah Osborne and Sarah Good both denied any involvement in witchcraft but the courts twisted their words to use against them. When Tituba was questioned, she told the courts that all three of them were involved in witchcraft and were working with the Devil.
Sarah Osborne then claimed that if the Devil had been using her likeness to commit crimes and sins, then he was doing so without her being aware of it. This one statement gave her a chance to maybe win her trial, however, she died in jail on May 10th before the court convened. She was never found innocent or guilty, but the trials took a toll on her just the same.
Both Tituba and Sarah Good were found guilty and murdered. Sarah Good’s tombstone reads Sarah Good, Hanged.
During the trials over 150 people were arrested and imprisoned, with even more accused. The courts convicted twenty-nine people of the capital felony of witchcraft. Nineteen of the accused (fourteen women and five men) were hanged. One man, refusing to enter a plea, was ordered to be crushed to death under heavy stones. At least five more of the accused died in prison.
~William C. Raustler