A Great Terror will soon fall upon Salem.
— The Devil

The Great Terror is the Apocalypse, or the final defeat of humanity by bringing Hell on Earth, giving rise to a world in the image and likeness of the Devil rather than God the Father.


Alternatively referred to as Miracle of Evil, or End of the World, the Great Terror is about as close to the Apocalypse prophesied in the Holy Scriptures. The undoing of humanity is the ultimate goal of the Devil and his infernal legion of Fallen Angels. This apocalyptic plan, as was the case for the Grand Rite, is divided into various stages that lead to its fulfillment. The rise of the Kingdom of Darkness, as referred to by the Countess Von Marburg, begins in the slaughter of human beings, including witches who are nothing but grass like any human to the Reaper. The outbreak of these genocides will lead to slow and lasting war bringing men into blackest despair and unbelief in the goodness, which is the way to annihilate God the Father.

The Inauguration

The Inauguration is one of the main stages of the Great Terror, in which humanity will burn like candles to ignite the rise to power of the almighty Devil, by inaugurating, in fact, his dominion over the Earth as the ultimate affront to God the Father.

Black Sunday

Satanic Easter, the unholiest day on the Devil's calendar. [...] Easter is the resurrection. The foundation stone of Christendom, proof that God will judge the world in righteousness. So imagine what the Devil's Easter is. Judgement in evil, beginning the Devil's reign on Earth.
— Cotton Mather about Black Sunday

The Satanic equivalent of the Christian Easter, Black Sunday is a blasphemous celebration marking the aftermath of the Great Terror. It is the survival from the ashes of the apocalypse of those who were chosen by the Devil, judged according to wickedness, instead of Christian righteousness. Seven are the days required for the annihilation of the world as seven are the traditional days spent to create the world, as reported in the Scriptures. According to the assertions of the Dark Lord, it is fair to say that Black Sunday has never been celebrated before since this is the first time that the Devil has managed to incarnate in a human vessel to give the terrible start to his Inauguration.

Throughout the Salem Series

Season Three

Tituba foreseeing the apocalypse

With the completion of the Ritum Magni and follow Consecration that allowed Satan to become incarnate in human form, the Dark Lord began his rise to power by fomenting wars and reprisals by his mere presence, relying on human greed hiring French and Indian tribes to raid villages and push people to take refuge in Salem borders. In doing so, he did nothing but provoke fear and distrust of strangers, creating animosity and rivalry between different citizens. The result of this dreaded End of Days was foretold by Petrus "the Seer" and also shown to Tituba, who witnessed the undoing of Salem in a pile of burning debris. (After the Fall) To persuade Mary Sibley to take part in the plan of Essex Witches to defeat the Devil, Tituba triggered a premonition in Mary's mind by letting the woman touch her empty eye sockets. (The Heart Is A Devil)

The Terror's Aftermath on Deerfield

Using Baron Von Marburg as an emissary for the French troops and strange walking dead natives, the Dark Lord continued to be behind the raids creating an ever closer noose around Salem, a town on the brink of revolt. The selectmen of Salem, in fact, were in conflict because of the precautions to be taken in the handling of refugees who continue to pour into the streets of Salem in increasing numbers. The people's imbalance was increased, then, by a sinister as a singular event that turned red blood the night sky. According to John Alden, this event had the ring of a cannon. Or a thousand cannons shot at exactly the same time. During this bloody dawn in the midst of the night, dust and ash began to fall from the sky. The next day it was discovered that the neighboring Deerfield had been completely burned to the ground, leaving nothing but ashes and destruction behind. The ashes rained the night before were, therefore, what was left of the charred bodies of the unfortunate ones who perished. (The Reckoning)

During the week before Easter, the Dark Lord increased his demonic activities to ensure the success of his terrible plan to bring perpetual war and destruction on Earth. Not even his temporary defeat at the hands of Mary Sibley, in the form of the dismemberment of the vessel through the power obtained from the mass sacrifice of the Essex Hive, wasn't able to stop the arrival of the Great Terror. (The Man Who Was Thursday)

The Sentinel charging the Instrument with Red Mercury.

The Dark Lord's plan, in fact, was carried out by The Sentinel, who started the gears of The Instrument, a dreadful artifact that he delivered into the hands of barber and surgeon Thomas Dinley, an alley of the Commonwealth of Hell, to keep it until midnight of Black Sunday, when all Hell would be released on Earth. (Friday Knight) John Alden tried in vain to stop the ticking of this "clock of damnation". (Saturday Mourning)

When the Dark Lord came to life again through the powerful witchcraft and dedication of Tituba, he used a newly turned dark Anne Hale to lure Cotton Mather so that the Devil could offer a deal that Cotton could not refuse. When Cotton sacrificed himself crossing the threshold of Hell to save the souls of Salem, this sacrifice bestowed great power on the vessel, causing the destruction of the Devil's flesh to create a new one from within it, adult and stronger. This put an end to the ticking of the Instrument that in the meantime John Alden was trying to stop.

The Dark Lord's plan, however, was delayed by Anne Hale's lust for power, causing a postponement of the Apocalypse when she killed the Dark Lord's vessel to be herself the bride of the Devil, and the mastermind behind the next Grand Rite. (Black Sunday)

Memorable Quotes

Cotton Mather: "The witches completed their dreaded Grand Rite. The war is on. The battle has begun. And the front line is in Salem."
Cry Havoc
Shaman: "They seek to wake Him. They think they can control it but it will destroy them, and when they are through, this will not be the place we knew. It will be Hell."
Cry Havoc
The Devil: "A Great Terror will soon fall upon Salem, and there is not a soul alive upon this dull Earth who can stop me."
After the Fall
The Devil: "The Terror outside drives refugees into Salem, where, soon, they all, including my dear father, will be but the burning candles that ignite my Inauguration."
Anne Hale: "But, my Lord, how does it serve you to destroy those you would rule? Surely we want a new world, not a dead one."
The Devil': "All good gardeners know some must die that others may grow."
After the Fall
Tituba: "I have seen it. Seen the future that we have built in our thirst for revenge. We have brought him back only to murder our own world and ourselves with it unless we can stop him."
Essex Elder: "But it is impossible. Not all of us together have any hope of stopping him."
Tituba: "No. She [Mary] alone does."
After the Fall
Essex Elder: "We are all responsible. Together, we turned the witch hunt against the hunters. And we sought justice for all our sisters burned and hanged in the old country. But the devil lied, and he delivers justice only for himself and death or slavery for all others."
The Heart Is A Devil
Putnam: "Is it the end of the world?"
Cotton Mather: "No doubt the end of someone's world."
John Alden: "It had the ring of a cannon. Or a thousand cannons shot at exactly the same time."
The Reckoning
Sebastian Von Marburg: "There was nothing left alive. Not even a blade of grass. Just dust and death."
The Devil: "Yes. What a lovely thought."
Sebastian Von Marburg: "The French only await my word to strike here next."
The Devil: "The French have done their job. Filled our pot with frightened meat."
The Sentinel: "And when Salem is obliterated, they will take the blame. This will be the spark that ignites a war that shall not cease for a hundred years."
Sebastian Von Marburg: "All this just to start a war?"
The Sentinel: "Not just any war. Total war. Give a man enough blood-thirst, and he will kill God by the simple device of unbelief."
The Reckoning
Sebastian Von Marburg: "Wise mother, was this your plan? Did you know what the Devil intends? Do you plan to rule a kingdom of death and dust?"
Countess Von Marburg: "All comes from dust. And all returns. The end he brings is a new beginning."
The Commonwealth of Hell



  • The Puritans believed that the end of the world was right around the corner. Because of the religious and political turmoil of the time, they truly thought they were living the Apocalypse. The Catholic Church and Church of England were demonic forces. They were the New Jerusalem, the new Kingdom of God. This apocalyptic thinking manifested in everything from sermons to laws to literature. The Day of the Doom, published in 1662, was a Puritan bestseller. It described the Day of Judgment, the destruction of the world, and the punishment of sinners in Hell — just a little light reading. [1]
  • This is one of the great rituals that are part of the mythology of the show; the others are: "Grand Rite" (or "Ritum Magni"), "Consecration" (or "Dark Baptism"), "Royal Marriage" and "The Reckoning."
  • The Grand Rite can be considered as one of the preparatory stages of the Great Terror, because without the Grand Rite and annexed Consecration, the Devil would have been unable to lead the legions of Hell on Earth since devoid of physical manifestation.
  • In the second season, a Shaman revealed to John Alden the real outcome of the Grand Rite, giving to understand that Native American shamans - and then the Spirits they venerate - were aware of the true monstrosity of the devil and about his lies.
  • Cotton Mather has defined this Armageddon as a "Miracle of Evil," recognizing both its significance and its endless wickedness.
  • The Bible uses the term "Terror" in relation to the opening of the Sixth Seal, foreshadowing the Apocalypse (Revelations 6:12). The great roar like thunder described in the Bible can be likened to the ring of a thousand cannons described by John Alden. [2]


See Also

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