October 21, 2015
A torrent of evil
Witches! The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem
by Rosalyn Schanzer
The New England Puritans believed in two worlds: the Natural World they could see or feel and the Invisible World of shadows of phantoms. So it wasn't a stretch to believe that witches were to blame for the mysterious illness that swept through Salem.
Rosalyn Schanzer's unembellished account of the hysteria that followed is chilling. She incorporates actual courtroom testimonies that are so far-fetched as to be unbelievable. That the so-called judges could condemn so many innocents on hearsay alone is terrifying and unconscionable. A final chapter of what happened next is a sobering look at the cost of the unjustly accused.
It's a vivid story come to life with Schanzer's black and white scratchboard illustrations. Accented with red highlights, they add an appropriate sinister air.