Flock of Birds

Chronology of Accusations

Even a quick scan of the Accused Witches Data Set reveals that accusations (and executions) occurred over many months. Moreover, their number was not constant each month. Using basic statistics, we can explore questions such as: when did the accusations begin and when did they end? We can also look for patterns in the distribution of accusations.

A useful way to analyze accusations is to construct histograms, a type of bar chart, that depicts the way in which data is distributed over a range. Using the Salem data, histograms show how accusations were distributed each month over the entire outbreak.

To simplify making a histogram, users can work with the Accused Histogram Data Set, a simplified version of the Accused Witches Data Set containing just two of its columns: "Month of Accusation" and "Month of Execution." It also contains a third column, "Bin," which lists a range of months during which accusations took place. Those more comfortable with manipulating the full Accused Witches Data Set should insert a new column, label it "Bin," and progressively enter the numbers -1,1,2,3,4,5,6 and so forth, through number 15 in its rows.

Download the Accused Histogram Data Set and click Next.