Salem Witch Trials Essay

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What caused the events in Salem? In 1692 some shocking events took place in Salem, Massachusetts. A bizarre outbreak of people accusing others of being witches began. These accused “witches” were slaughtered in a variety of ways. This occurrence was described in the book entitled The Crucible by Arthur Miller. This book describes the witch trials by following a handful of characters such as John Procter, His wife Elizabeth Procter, Abigail Williams, and Reverend Hale. The book starts off with Tituba, a slave woman, “dancing” in the woods with Abigail and a few others. After they were caught Tituba admits to conjuring the devil while Abigail and a young girl named Betty claim they have seen various townsfolk with the devil. The story continues …show more content…

Mass hysteria is a condition, which affects an entire group of people, which is influenced by excitement and/or anxiety. It bring about irrational behavior and beliefs. When many people at once are hysterical, or even one person that can convince the others, it can cause the group to have hallucinations. Once they start believing something and seeing things that aren’t actually there it is pretty easy to toy with their minds. Some sources believe this is what was happening in Salem. Once a few people began to cry witch the others joined in. With all this hysteria people began to see things that weren’t actually there. Before these trials started the girls were perfectly healthy while during the trials they suffered from things such as bite marks and burns from throwing themselves in fire. These are classic symptoms of hysteria. The people of Salem suffered from clinical hysteria. They did not become hysterical because of witchcraft, but because of the fear of …show more content…

A few illnesses and disorders could have taken their hold at the time. One of these possible diseases are Lyme disease. The afflicted in Salem had red marks and rashes and also showed arthritic and neurological symptoms. Lyme disease is caused by certain kinds of ticks. These ticks are present in Massachusetts, where this took place. Another disorder would be PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder. At the time of these events it was about 20 years after a war had taken place, the King Philip’s War. The witnesses of this horrific event could have been left with PTSD. The survivors/witnesses of this war could become hysterical in a time of stress. Any one of these illnesses could have played into what happened in

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