Causes Of Salem Witch Hysteria

Superior Essays
Kayla Horton
Mrs. Quinn
American Literature Honors
7 March 2016
Witch Hysteria Comes To Salem
Salem Village was a small area made up of farms and neighbored by thick forest. At the center of town stood the village church, which was attended by most all of the inhabitants every Sunday. Not attending church to practice another activity was viewed as sinful by Puritans. Villagers were mainly poor and endured hard lifestyles with “a constant fear of Indian attacks, severe illness, and even death” (Linder). Under the control of Salem Village was Salem Town, a prosperous place opposite the village. The quaint village was struck by witch hysteria in 1692 resulting in an uproar that claimed the lives of many.
Children of the village were raised to
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The girls’ ill behavior once believed to be caused by witches, is now thought to have different origins. Historians have discovered that the girls “symptoms could have been caused by stress, asthma, guilt, boredom, child abuse, epilepsy, or delusional psychosis” (Linder). The hallucinations, violent fits, and pinching sensations could have also been linked to ergot. “Ergot is caused by a fungus which invades developing kernels of rye grain, especially under warm and damp conditions such as existed at the time of the previous rye harvest in Salem” (Linder). Although the symptoms of the girls match with that of ergot, it is also believed that their behavior could have been caused by their relationships with adults. According to George W. Hudler, “some of the adolescent hysteria probably fed on some of their episodes too.” Regardless of the cause, the Salem Witch Trials has proved to be one of the darkest times in the history of the United …show more content…
The Salem Witchcraft Trials. New Jersey: Enslow Publishers, Inc. 1999. Print.
Hoffer, Peter. The Salem Witchcraft Trials A Legal History. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. 1997. Print.
Kallen, Stuart. The Salem Witch Trials. San Diego: Lucent Books, Inc. 1999. Print.
Linder, Douglas. "The Salem Witchcraft Trials Of 1692". Famous American Trials. University of Missouri- Kansas City School of Law, 2009. Web. 23 Feb. 2016.
Madden, Matt. "Court Examination of Rebecca Nurse". Salem Witch Trials. University of Virginia, 2001. Web. 25 Feb. 2016.
"Witch Madness." Current Events 100.8 (2000): 2A. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 2 Mar.

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