Sarah Bibber lived in Salem, Massachusetts Bay Colony during the Salem Witch Trials. She saw both sides of the coin as she was one of the women who accused others of witchcraft and was also one who was accused of witchcraft.
Trials of Sarah Bibber
Sarah Bibber was thrown into what seemed to be epileptic seizures and was considered the “afflicted”. She would go on to give testimony under oath against 16 people:
- Mary Bradbury
- George Burroughs
- Giles Corey
- Mary Easty
- Sarah Good
- Dorcas Hoar
- Elizabeth Howe
- George Jacobs Sr.
- Susannah Martin
- Rebecca Nurse
- Alice Parker
- John Procter
- Ann Pudeator
- Job Tookey
- John Willard
- Mary Witheridge
Despite her efforts to aid in the cleansing of Salem witches, the tables turned on Bibber and soon she became the accused. The 36-year-old mother found herself in front of the judge being accused of witchcraft by those who were once on her side.
Testimonies By and Against Sarah Bibber
Sarah Bibber v. Sarah Good:
The Deposition of Sarah Bibber aged about 36 years who testified and said that since I have been afflicted I have often seen the Apparition of Sarah Good but she did not hurt me tell the 2 day of May 1692 though I saw her Apparition most grievously torture Mercy Lewes & Jon. Indian at Salem. on the 11th April 1692: but on the 2: may 1692 the Apparition of Sarah good did most grievously torment me by pressing my breath almost out of my body and also she did immediately afflict my child by pinching of it that I could hardly hold it and my husband seeing of it took hold of the Child but it cried out and twisted so dreadfully by reason of the torture that the Apparition of Sarah good did afflict it with all that it got out of its fathers arms to: also several times since the Apparition of Sarah Good has most grievously tormented me by beating and pinching me and almost Choking me to death and pricking me with pins after a most dreadful manner
Sarah Bibber owned this her testimony to be the truth one the oath she had taken: be fore us the Jurors for Inquest: this: 28dy of June 1692
Sworn. in Court June 29th 1692.
And further Adds. that she very believes upon her Oath that Sarah Good had bewitched her
Bibber was described by those who testified against her as a “loose-tongued creature, addicted to fits,” a woman who quarreled often with her husband when she would call him “very bad names,” would have “strange fits when she was crossed,” a woman of turbulent spirit and “double-tongued.” She was observed to be “very idle in her calling” and given to gossiping and making mischief among her neighbors.
The testimony of Thomas and Mary Jacobs against Bibber stated that
… Bibber would be very often speaking against one and another very obscenely and those things that were false and wishing very bad wishes and very often and she wish that when her child fell into the river that she had never pulled . … her child out and Bibber use to wish ill wishes to herself and her children and also to others: the neighborhood where she lived amongst after she buried her first husband has told us that this John Bibber wife could fall into fits as often as she pleased
Sarah Bibber had questionable character and although she did testify against others, her testimony did not hold as much influence as the other girls had due to already having a dishonest reputation.