What Caused The Salem Witch Trials

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The 1692 events in Salem were not caused by a single person. Rather, the horrific miscarriage of injustice that was unfair persecutions under the guise of witchcraft could be blamed on natural phenomena. When young girls of the Massachusetts town developed strange symptoms, such as vivid hallucinations and strange bodily sensations, the local town doctor could not explain why they had suddenly taken ill. Confused, he diagnosed them with the one thing that made sense to the suspicious religious town: Witchcraft. Now, modern science concludes that a simple fungus was responsible for the girl’s symptoms. Therefore, rather than blaming an individual, a natural occurrence can be proven by analyzing the attributes of the time and location,…show more content…
It was around this time that young girls, starting with Betty Parris and Ruth Putnam, began getting sick. Without an apparent cause, they fell unconscious, and would not wake (Miller, 8). Soon, other girls, including Betty’s cousin, Abigail, began to show bizarre symptoms. They had hallucinations, felt sensations like extreme cold, and generally became irrational and sickly. These are all main symptoms in ergot poisoning. This is a disease caused by ingesting the same fungus used to make LSD. The fungus can also be found in water, which may lead to why it was mainly females and children to become affected. For one, they would be drinking less alcohol than men. Alcohol would have killed the ergot fungus, leaving drinks like beer and cider unaffected. In addition, children would have had lower immune systems, and would be more prone to contracting the illness. Though many blame out of town officials, such as Danforth and Hale, they were not exposed to the potentially infected rye crop. Rather, they seemed to be the least symptomatic of all. Although they gained power because of the paranoia, they could not be at fault. In addition, Abigail cannot be held responsible. She had vivid and
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