The Mass Hysteria Of The Witch Trials Essay

1206 Words Jul 23rd, 2016 5 Pages
The ongoing witch trials in Massachusetts have been a source of shock and horror among residents of surrounding regions. A number of towns have been involved including Salem Village, a tight-knit Puritan community with about 550 residents. The community is very religious and firmly believes in God’s providence. The madness began last spring in 1692 when two young girls named Betty Paris (9) and Abigail Williams (11) began to display bizarre behavior. A doctor found that the “convulsive seizures, blasphemous screaming, and trance-like states” afflicted the youngsters were not attributable to any physical malady (The Salem Witch Trials). The community thus decided the only other explanation was Satan. Frenzy has struck the village, and they have begun prosecuting suspected witches and wizards. Though their capricious behavior may seem unfathomable, Salem society was ripe for this holocaust. The mass hysteria of the witch trials was caused by Salem society’s emphasis on the supernatural, anxiety over guilt and sin, and importance of moral reputation. One of the primary contributing factors to the Salem witch trials were the many supernatural and superstitious elements prevalent in Puritan society. Born out of a limited understanding of the cause of devastating events (such as sickness and drought), Salem’s obsession with witchcraft caused more than 200 deaths. Supernatural occurrences weee considered part of everyday life in the town and people believed that Satan was alive…

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