Salem Mass Hysteria

Good Essays
By most historians the Salem Witch Trails were a product of mass hysteria; it all fueled by hearsay and distorted stories – even out of mere dislike of a neighbor. The Puritans, who had left England for religious freedom, noticed more and more individualism of the people of Salem and felt a loss of control of them. They used this hysteria, to try and bring them back to the church, but people even became weary of church members and suspected them of witchcraft. The extremely religious community, living in near isolation, took every bit of this very seriously, the fear of the Devil and witches that did his bidding, caused complete panic. Due to the strict nature of the Puritan religion the Salem Witch Trials were most likely a breaking point in Salem that led to over 100 alleged witches …show more content…
They believed God would take care of any sinful behavior, so if a neighbor were to get sick or suffer crop failure, the Puritans took that as the will of God and did not offer help. To the Puritans the Devil was just as real as God was; everyone was faced with a power struggle of good and evil, and Satan would prey on the weakest of everyone – women, children, and the insane – to carry out his work. Those who were followers of Satan were thought to be witches, and it was one of the greatest crimes someone could commit and was punishable by death.
It doesn’t seem surprising to think that this is what could have caused the hysteria. People got bored and at the time young girls were forbidden to act out or express themselves, it’s not hard to see why they were delighted by the attention given to their “bewitching”. Of course many factors played a part in the actions of the “afflicted girls”, but it’s surprising to think that the imaginations of these girls sent hysteria throughout Salem. Though the girls may have prompted the hunt, the adults set it in

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