In Escaping Salem, the author, Richard Godbeer, writes that the Salem witch trials, which took place in 1692 (the same year as the witch trials in Stamford), were the exception--not the rule--at the time. The author writes that "Stamford townsfolk were for the most part remarkably cautious in reacting to...accusations" (page 7). The residents of Stamford did not automatically accept what the accuser stated. In addition, the officials in Stanford carefully weighed the evidence against accused people and refused to come to quick judgments. For example, the magistrates in the Stamford case did not rely only on the testimony of the person making the accusations, Kate Branch, to make their case (page 60). In addition, it is not clear whether Kate Branch was actually present at the trial to give testimony, unlike at the Salem witch trials, at which the girls who were making accusations appeared with great theatrics and threw the case into a state of chaos (page 112). In Salem, 19 accused people were hanged, while the two people accused in the Stamford trials were acquitted.
The author states that the intensity of the hysteria in Salem was not typical of witch trials at the time, though that witch hunt has come to represent what New England witch hunts were like. Instead, the more measured approach in Stamford was more typical of witch trials during the 17th century.