The Horrors of the Salem Witch Trials Essay

1953 Words 8 Pages
In all of human history, people have written about inhuman beings, many of which include gods, demons, wizards, sorcerers, and witches. Nowadays, mystical beings are seen everywhere in media. Most of society stopped believing in these creatures years ago, but for 17th century Salem, witchcraft became a living nightmare (Fremon, 1999 The reason for the bizarre events that occurred during the Salem witch trials of 1692 and 1693 in Massachusetts has been the focus of speculation and curiosity for many years. Of all the Salem residents, only children accused certain townspeople of being witches. The extremely strange behavior of these children could be due to social beliefs, boredom due to lifestyle, or some unusual substance in their …show more content…
Rye was a common food source for the inhabitants of Salem. Caporael worked for years to find proof that the Puritans of Salem in the 1690s had poisoned themselves by eating rye bread infected with the ergot fungus (Lewis, 2001). Maurice Moss, a noted fungal toxicologist, noted that, “The ignition infection of the cereal crop during the late spring and early summer requires the dispersal of a particular kind of spore that is ejected into the atmosphere, and the fungus needs moisture in order to have the pressure to eject these spores into the air. So, there is a stage in the early summer when a wet, damp summer will ensure infection” (Lewis, 2001). At one point in her research, Caporael found a reproduction of Samuel Sewell’s (sp) diary in which the weather conditions of Salem in 1691 and 1692 had been recorded. In the book, “Cotton Mather on Witchcraft,” she discovered that in 1691 there was a “warm, wet spring with a stormy, wet summer.” These were the ideal conditions needed for ergot to thrive during its growing season (Lewis, 2001). Caporael had found documentation confirming that the ideal growing conditions for the ergot fungus were provided by the

Related Documents