Witch Hunts And The Salem Witch Trials Essay

1899 Words Nov 19th, 2014 8 Pages
Witch hunts. Driven by the need to purge their society of evil and sin, merciless government leaders hang supposed evil doers by their necks. The targeting, persecution, and execution of witches has existed for a long time, regardless of whether the victims were actual practitioners of witchcraft or not. The question remains, if these people were not truly mixing concoctions of liquid evil in cauldrons or casting spells on their personal enemies, then why were they chosen to be accused, and further executed? These hunts prove themselves to be a mysterious phenomenon, with several theories possibly explaining the true motives behind their executions, of which the widespread practice of witchcraft does not find its way to the top of the list. Three alternative theories reveal themselves through both European witch hunts and the notorious Salem Witch Trials. While ergot poisoning is a sound theory, the desire for a uniformity of religion in a given state and the inferior status of women are valid purposeful incentives for the mysterious workings of a witch hunt. These similar motives appearing in two totally different parts of the world helps further prove their potential accuracy. Perhaps people will not jump so easily to the extreme and bizarre for answers, when logical explanations can be given for even the most curious of human phenomena. “Epidemics and natural disasters” are commonly regarded as “nearly always central to outbreaks of mass hysteria,” and with the symptoms…

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