Good is an excellent example of a "socially undesirable" member of the
community which made her prone to being accused of witchcraft and evil
doings. Most of the people who were accused of witchcraft were either looked
down upon by the towns folk or were envied for their land and position
in the community. Also, an outspoken individualist or a "strong" woman
was also frowned upon by the community and whom was therefore
"punished" by the accusation
was well known to the people of Salem Village. The community viewed her
as a distracted and melancholic woman whose erratic behavior caused most
people to believe the accusations of witchcraft against her. William Good,
Sarah's husband, was a laborer who made a meager income which caused the
Goods to rely on the charity and goodwill of their neighbors. At times,
the Goods were forced to move in with their neighbors, an arrangement which
never lasted for long.
actions and attitudes caused friction with their hosts and eventually the
Good's would be asked to leave. Some neighbors began to notice that their
livestock would sicken and sometimes die after the Good's left their households
which caused much suspicion and fear towards Sarah. On March 1, 1692, Sarah
Good was taken to Ingersoll's Tavern in Salem Village, where she was examined
by magistrates John Hawthorne and Jonathon Corwin.
people gave statements claiming that Sarah Good bewitched their cattle
and other livestock. Others would claim that Sarah would cause objects
to disappear or would bewitch their families. When Sarah Good was questioned
about these incidents, it was noted that her answers were given in mean-spirited
and spiteful ways, using abusive words. During her examination, she stated
that Tituba and Sarah Osborne were also fellow witches and she claimed
that they frightened her into afflicting the girls.
husband, William, also testified that he was afraid of her, that she was
an enemy of God and he also believed she was a witch. Based on this "evidence",
she was ordered bound over for trial. Good's daughter, Dorcas, then only
five, soon joined her mother in jail because the afflicted girls accused
the young girl of biting them. Sarah Good was pregnant at the time of her
arrest and gave birth in jail. Because of the lack of medical assistance
and the unsanitary conditions, her newborn baby died.
was set for June 30th, 1692, which was also the trial date for Rebecca
Nurse, Susannah Martin, Elizabeth Howe and Sarah Wilde. All five were found
guilty of witchcraft and were sentenced to death. At Sarah Good's execution,
the Reverend Nicholas Noyes pleaded and urged Sarah to confess her guilt.
He told her that he knew she was a witch and Sarah Good called the Reverend
a liar and stated that she was no more a witch than he was a wizard.
remarks to Reverend Noyes before her execution were that if he took her
life, God would give him blood to drink.
Sarah Good was hanged July