The Salem Witch Trials Essay

3385 Words Jul 14th, 2015 14 Pages
The Salem witch trials began in February 1692 when two young children, Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Parris, began to act in a strange manner (chronology of events relating to the Salem witch trials, n.d.), showing signs of fits and hysterics (important persons in the Salem court records, n.d.). During this period in time where fear of the devil was much more common and superstition was a part of daily life for practically everyone it was easiest to blame witchcraft when both girls spoke of being possessed by the devil and pointed fingers at several local women – Tituba, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborne (Salem witch trials, n.d). The colonists’ fear and overwhelming belief in the supernatural evolved this isolated incident into a witch hunt of massive proportions, with well over one hundred citizens accused of witchcraft over the following months.
A physician, Doctor Griggs, examined the children. He also comes to the conclusion that their condition is caused by witchcraft. It is interesting to note that the cause of Abigail Williams’, Elizabeth Parris’, and other children’s mystery condition has no solid diagnosis even today, although there are prevalent theories. Most people tend to place blame on the fungus ergot (Salem witch trials, n.d.). Two separate, distinct types of ergotism are harmful to humans. Convulsive ergotism is typically the one looked at in the case of the Salem witch trials. It would have caused the convulsions or “fits” the sufferers were documented to…

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