Witchcraft Theory: The Salem Witch Trials

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Witchcraft Theory Back in Puritan life, many women were accused of practicing witchcraft. Many people feel the Salem Witch Trials were a fraud, but they cannot decide if this fraud was due to ergot poisoning, certain townspeople influencing the teenagers to accuse people in order to gain land or economic prosperity, or boredom of the teenage girls. Although there are many theories on why girls of Salem accused others of witchcraft, I believe the Salem Witch Trials occurred because the teenage girls of Salem were bored due to the strict religious environment. The Salem Witch Trials began during the spring of 1692 in Salem Village, Massachusetts (History.com Staff). During this time, young girls claimed to be possessed by the devil and…show more content…
While boys got to hunt, fish, and explore, girls did not get as much freedom (Shah). During this time girls were expected to do chores, housework, and bible study (Shah). One historical article states, “They were forbidden by their fathers to play games, since games were believed to invite in the devil” (Shah). The fact that these girls had such a restricted and boring life may have resulted in their reason to want to get involved in the supernatural and make life more interesting. Some argue ergot poisoning could be a possibility. During this time conditions were ideal for ergot (Lienhard). The victims of ergot might have suffered hallucinations, spasms, and cardiovascular troubles (Lienhard). This could explain why the girls acted out, but it seems unlikely that it would cause so much damage. It is clear the theory of acting out due to boredom has more evidence to back it up. Overall, it makes sense why during this time the girls’ dry and dull life resulted in their reason to spark such a mess for their entertainment. Any of the other theories do not make nearly enough scenes as this one. Not being able to do what you want and waking up knowing you’d spend your day cleaning around the house while your brother got to have fun fishing and hunting would make someone insane enough to do what these girls
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