Witch Hunt - history told in music, sound, and story - Episode IV - Accusations

by Brian O'Connell



The hysterical and violent fits of the young girls in Salem Village spreads from the family of Minister Samuel Parris to that of Thomas Putnam, the head household of one of the most powerful families in the village. When Elizabeth Hubbard, niece of the local doctor, begins to have fits the door is opened for legal action, as the other girls were too young to be witnesses in court. It is widely assumed that malefic witchcraft is taking place. Putnam goes with some supporters to Salem Town to make official accusations against local suspects.

The accused are: Tituba, a native-American household slave of minister Parris; Sarah Good, a local beggar woman who is an embarrassment and a nuisance to the village, and Sarah Osborne, a scandalous figure who had gone against the Putnam family in court. The three women, all likely suspects for witchcraft are rounded up and brought into custody. All the while the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay colony live in constant terror of encroaching warfare in Maine and New Hampshire.

Episode IV Parts:

Part I - “Long Cold Nights”

Part II - Sarah Good, Mary Sibley’s witch cake (music – “Long Cold Nights” & “Second Meter”)

Part III - “A Perfect Storm”

Part IV – “The Accused”

Historical Sources

“The Salem Witch Trials – A Day-By-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege” by Marilynne K. Roach, Taylor Trade Publishing, 2002

"A Storm of Witchcraft - The Salem Witch Trials and the American Experience“ by Emerson W. Baker, Oxford University Press, 2015

"In the Devil's Snare - The Salem Witchcraft Crisis" by Mary Beth Norton, Vintage Books, 2002



A Perfect Storm

Long cold dark nights
Growing shorter with each day
The rains of March
Winter washed away

Tempest driving on the fields
Roads turn into mud
To the west the river has overflowed
And drowned the cows

From London comes a new charter
New government and laws
Blasphemers are welcome now
In the land of puritans
New masters come to rule us all
The city on the hill will fall

War is coming from the East
Bringing refugees
Telling tales of burning homes
And mutilations

How many have already turned
Signed their names into his book
If we need someone to blame
We can provide a list of names

Our complaint we swore before the court
We gave the names of the accused
Much mischief done on our poor girls
The constables have been sent out
To bring them before the Magistrates


released November 4, 2022
All music written by Brian O'Connell except:

“Long Cold Nights” from the collection of traditional fiddle tunes called “Apollo’s Banquet” compiled by Henry Playford, 1690.

“Second Meter – Psalm 119” adapted from the Bay Psalm Book, 1698.

Recorded at Studio Vinniechops, 2021-2022

Brian O’Connell – nylon and steel string acoustic guitars, electric 12-string guitar, bass guitar, piccolo bass guitar, acoustic and electric upright basses, piano, moog synthesizer, acoustic guitar w/ glass slide & ebow, cymbal, percussion, voice

Rachel Koppelman – accordion


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Brian O'Connell Massachusetts

Widely known for his inventive and kinetic bass and touch guitar playing with Arukah, Uncle Sammy, Gordon Stone, Gary Backstrom, Dave Brunyak, and Dead Man's Waltz. O'Connell also has a strong compositional approach that is featured in his rock opera and original bands. His most recent solo project is a podcast-rock opera about the Salem Witch Trials called Witch Hunt. www.brianvoconnell.com ... more

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