Causes Of Mass Hysteria

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Shirley Escobedo
CRN: 15018
Mini Research Paper

The general meaning of mass delusion or also referred as mass hysteria is the collective panic and irrational behavior of a large group of people who experience similar physical and emotional symptoms over some occurrence. Mass Hysteria is usually spread by illusion of threats and rumors caused by fear. To emphasize the aspect of mass hysteria, an example could describe anything from screaming crowds of people rushing through every exit door in a theater, after smelling smoke or a contagious frenzy of people screaming that, “The sky is falling!” because they saw a phenomenon in the sky. By examining a range of fundamental causes of mass hysteria in the Salem Witch Trials,
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The trials were a series of prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft that occurred between February 1692 and May 1693. The community-wide…show more content…
According to “Journal of the Early Republic” eventually, the community admitted the trials were a mistake and ended up compensating the families of those convicted. Since then, the Salem
Witch trials has become synonymous with paranoia, injustice, and fear; therefore, continues to occupy a unique place in our collective history. Because the belief in the supernatural and in the devil’s practice became widespread in the
Salem village, it evoked fear among the community. Witchcraft was considered a sin and a crime because the witches were able to conjure the Devil to perform cruel acts against others. The community received an offset of terror when three young girls, 9-year-old Elizabeth (Betty),
Parris, 11-year-old Abigail Williams, and Anne Putnam began having fits, including violent contortions and uncontrollable outbursts of screaming. After a local doctor examined them he diagnosed bewitchment, and suddenly other young girls began experiencing similar symptoms.
The young girls accused Tituba, a slave, along with Sarah Good, a homeless beggar, and elderly woman Sarah Osborn of bewitching them. The three accused witches were social outcasts
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