The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 are often used to condemn the Protestant Puritans of New England. Yet was is not told is that the spate of witch hangings lasted only a few months because the Massachussetts Colony quickly realized things had gotten way out of hand, and not only put a stop to the trials, but drastically overhauled its own legal system to make sure another Salem never happened. In particular, "spectral evidence" was condemned and forbidden, and religious authorities were restricted from service as judges. And indeed, Salem 1692 was the first, last, and only such incident in New England's history! Their changes worked. By way of comparison, the Catholic Inquisition in Mexico continued to burn heretics at the stake from the days of the Conquistadors in the early 1500s (150 years before Salem) all the way up to the Mexican-American War in the 1840s (150 years after Salem). The Salem Witch Trials, far from representing a (long term) failure, actually demonstrate the strength of Protestantism in New England and its ability to admit its own sins, and to rectify the situation completely. Indeed, in 1695, the whole Colony observed a day of prayer in attonement for the innocent blood shed. I personally know of no such example from Catholic Mexico. References: Rediscovering America: The Salem Witch Trials (VHS). Discovery Channel School Video. Unsolved History: The Salem Witch Trials (DVD). Discovery Channel Video. The Salem Witch Trials: The Horror & the Hope (VHS). New World Video.