Andover was a prominent centre in the witchcraft trials of 1692.
Autos-da fe were rare events; their victims were not as a rule serious thinkers, but persons accused of sorcery or Judaizing, nor were they more numerous than the victims of the English laws relating to witchcraft and heresy.
He attended the trials, investigated many of the cases himself, and wrote sermons on witchcraft, the Memorable Providences and The Wonders of the Invisible World (1693), which increased the excitement of the people.
All these trials were conducted in accordance with the English law of the time; there had been an execution for witchcraft at Charlestown in 1648; there was a case in Boston in 1655; in 1680 a woman of Newbury was condemned to death for witchcraft but was reprieved by Governor Simon Bradstreet; in England and Scotland there were many executions long after the Salem delusion died out.
To the beginning of the 13th century the popular superstitions regarding sorcery, witchcraft and compacts with the devil were condemned by the ecclesiastical authorities as heathenish, sinful and heretical.