People of the Salem Witch Trials: Ann Putnam

Pop Culture Crime
3 min readMay 6, 2022
“House of Ann Putnam Jr, Off Dayton Street, Danvers, MA. Circa 1891. Ann Putnam was one of the ‘afflicted’ girls in the Salem Witch Trial.” via Wikimedia Commons

Ann Putnam was one of the key witnesses during the Salem witch trials. She was initially a friend of several of the “afflicted” girls, and in March 1692, she claimed to have become afflicted as well.

Ann Putnam’s accusations against many people in Salem Village led to executions.

Ann Putnam’s Early Life

Ann Putnam was born in Salem Village in October 18, 1679. She was the oldest child of Thomas and Ann Putnam, and she would have 11 siblings. Ann would eventually become friends with Mercy Lewis, a servant in the family home. She also befriended Mary Walcott. These two girls would also become accusers.

Some sources suggest that Thomas Putnam was quite jealous of the economic successes of those around him. This may have laid the foundation for what was to come.

Ann Putnam’s Accusations

When Ann Putnam was 12, she claimed to have been afflicted like some of the other girls in Salem Village. Ann’s affliction began on February 25, 1692. She made accusations against Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba, claiming that specters were assaulting her and trying to force her to sign the devil’s book. Ann would become one of the most significant voices among the accusers, seemingly leading the charge at times.

Ann’s mother also got involved, claiming to experience the same kind of pain and terror. Her father played along, filling out complaints on behalf of Ann and Mercy. Today, many people speculate that her parents were the ones who influenced her to make the accusations in the first place and that the minister fed her the names to use in her accusations.

Ann Putnam’s accusations (and the accusations of others in Salem Village) led to the deaths of over 20 people and accusations against over 60 people. Many of those people died in prison, their freedom stripped from them in their final moments.

After the Salem Witch Trials

In 1699, Ann’s parents died due to an illness. She continued to raise her siblings and seemingly never married.

In 1706, Ann Putnam apologized publicly for her role in the Salem witch trials. She is the only “afflicted” girl to have done…

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