The Mass Hysteria Of Salem: The Salem Witch Trials

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The Mass Hysteria of Salem

Mass hysteria struck colonial Massachusetts in 1692 when several hearings took place known as The Salem Witch Trials. In this small town of Salem, there were 141 people arrested, 19 people hanged, and one person crushed to death. Why would this take place you ask? They were all accused of witchcraft, the Devil’s magic, and it was not taken lightly..

The Beginning of it all

Several hundred years ago, many Christians and other religious persons, had a strong belief that the Devil could give people, known as witches, the power to harm others in return for their loyalty to him. A "witchcraft craze" spread throughout Europe from the 1300s to the end of the 1600s. Tens of thousands of supposed witches—mostly …show more content…

Many other women followed and were accused of being witches and then hung as well. The council who made the life or death decision wouldn’t listen to the accused people. One reason these pointed fingers were happening was because the people of Salem wanted more land to occupy so they needed a reason to kill the people that owned the land they wanted. Also, they were so afraid of the idea of witch-work that blindly killing an innocent man seemed better than the idea of leaving them to live if they were seen dancing in the woods or living somewhere someone else wanted.

The High Theory of Salem A theory has been proposed to help explain the mass hysteria of the Salem witch trials of 1693. Rye was a staple grain used in bread in the 1600s and there was a fungus called Ergot that infected the rye. Ergot fungus needs a warm and damp weathered environment to grow, which the town of Salem provided. The effects of ingesting the fungus are convulsions, delusions, crawling sensations of the skin, and hallucinations. This would explain why Elizabeth Parris and Abigail Williams would have felt such sensations and started the accusations that created the Salem witch

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