top of page

The Spectral Network

The Spectral Network, shown in Figure 7, shows the networks of specters seen by the accusers in 1692.  Often times, the afflicted girls would claim to see people who visited in groups or they witnessed a witch's baptism.  This network graphs the supernatural world created by accusations.  If a girl claimed to see the specters of Rebecca Nurse and Sarah Good together, this graph shows Nurse and Good as connected.  It does not mean the relationships in this graph occurred in reality.  The Devil/Black Man is represented on the graph since so much testimony refers to this figure and the witches who visit with him, yet he did not exist.  However, in the minds of the Puritans, this was a real network of witches in Massachusetts.  When people heard this testimony, it created an imagined world undistinguishable from reality .  The network of this world is key to understanding the Salem Witch Trials.

Spectral Network data-

Nodes: 123

Edges: 608

Average degrees: 9.89

Maximum degrees: 62 (Devil/Black Man)

Average Geodesic Distance: 2.51

Maximum Geodesic Distance: 6

Average Betweenness Centrality: 88.72

Maximum Betweenness Centrality: 3135.46 (Devil/Black Man)

Average Eigenvector Centrality: .008

Maximum Eigenvector Centrality: .036 (Devil/Black Man)

Number of Groups by Cluster: 7

Figure 8 shows the lowest proportions of the graph to focus on the edges between groups.  This network is much smaller than the other two on this site, so there are less sections with significant overlap of edges, but several hubs appear around certain nodes.

Figure 9 shows the Spectral Network groups without intergroup edges.  On the other graphs, the group shapes were not manipulated for the group images, however on this image, the nodes have been moved in some groups to make clear point that will be discussed in the analysis section.  The group names are listed here:

1. The Usual Suspects

2. The Devil's Group

3. The Wardwell Group

4. The Escaped Group

5. The Andover Group

bottom of page