Witch Hunts: Witchcraft Or Lynching?

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Witchcraft and lynching: two punishments that are still occurring whether or not society as a whole wants to acknowledge it. Sometimes, witchcraft and lynching go together when speaking of violence against women. Witchcraft is defined as using sorcery or magic to communicate with the devil or some similar spirit, often called dark spirits (“Witchcraft,” n.d.). Lynching would be when an individual is executed, normally by means of hanging from a noose, by a group of people—this often will occur without, or with inadequate judicial proceedings (“Lynching,” n.d.). Witch hunts have been around for centuries, but is it still really a practice that occurs to this day? According to Miguel (2005) witch hunts can still be seen to this day in rural …show more content…
Often the areas that see this behavior are located in Africa, the Pacific, and Latin America. The United Nations believes that the number of those that are killed by this practice is in the thousands. In 2013, a 20 year old mother was buried alive in Papua New Guinea after being accused of sorcery. As mentioned in the above article, often (much like for this 20 year old mother) the acquisition is that of brining harm to one or all members of a community (Horowitz, 2014). Lynching, as defined above, is typically the hanging of a person accused of a crime—this usually occurring without/ with an inadequate judicial proceeding. In witchcraft, the common lynching that would occur even as far back as Salem, Massachusetts during the Salem Witch Trials was lynching by burning alive, in addition to hanging (Andrews, …show more content…
Often it is not reported on as much in the United States, it does happen. Around the world, lynching’s still happen as evident from above. Lynching’s don’t have a gender specific reason, ethnic or racial significance, etc. in today’s aspect of it—back before the Civil Rights Movement was a success, one could indeed say lynching’s targeted both genders, specific races, was isolated in the South, and came in a variety of flavors for the reasoning’s as to why the punishment was being handed down. Witchcraft follows this same pattern to this day when dealing with witch hunts—there is often vigilante justice that is seen

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