Ergotism In The Salem Witch Trials

959 Words4 Pages
The Salem Witch Trials is a devastating event in which 19 people and dogs were killed due to the cry of witchcraft. The outburst of these events could be blamed on several things. Certain things like economics, medicines and culture have to be taken into account when trying to understand the events of the Salem Witch Trials. People like Franklin Jr. Mixon, Linnda R. Caporael, Dr. Allan Woolf, Elaine G. Brewslaw, and Isaac Ariail Reed take into account one of the three: economics, medicines and culture and explain as to why or why not the event happened the way it did disregarding all the other factors. Franklin Jr. Mixon is a Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Economic Education at Columbus State University. In his work…show more content…
Regardless witchcraft is not involved, but rather an economic crisis occurred. In 1976 Linnda R. Caporael writes Ergotism:The Satan Loosed in Salem? where she explains that ergotism is the cause of the people acting the certain way. The evidence of ergotism in the Salem Village was the growing conditions and localization. The growing conditions for rye were perfect and rye is known to be a host plant for ergot. The cycle at which rye is harvested and stored for months fits the timing of the Salem Witch Trials. The pattern of residence of the accusers, the accused, and the defenders of the accused living within the Salem Village may have been an area of contamination.2 The result of not understanding ergotism at the time caused the people to start assuming witchcraft for the people with convulsions, mental disturbances, and perceptual distortions.3 In 2000 Dr. Alan Woolf being a medical toxicologist writes Witchcraft or Mycotoxin? The Salem Witch Trials in which she states that some people believed the Salem Witch Trials people were affected with egotism like Linnda R.…show more content…
Breslaw was a Professor of History from Morgan State University and is now an author and speaker. In her essay Tituba 's Confession: The Multicultural Dimensions of the 1692 Salem Witch-Hunt Elaine focuses on the cultural aspects of a certain individual named Tituba. Her confession, blending elements from English, African, and American Indian notions of the occult, was of key significance in the shaping of the bizarre events at Salem.8 During this time period people believed that magic and Satan coexisted. When Tituba was accused of being a witch rather than denying it, she accepted it and confessed. Tituba used her cultural background as a safe zone and made the Puritans believe in her being a regular slave trapped by forces out of the human realm.9 When this was happening there was not enough records to prove that the cultural background of a slave. By looking at the multicultural background of a single person shows that people did what they had to, to survive this chaos. Another author Isaac Ariail Reed writes Deep Culture in Action in order to further explain the sociological culture. Salem Witch Trials was considered moral panics which were built up out of resignification, a specific kind of public, communicative work that achieves its ends via Synecdoche and metanarrative.10 The Salem Witch Trials were a disproportionate response and by far the largest, the deadliest, and the most emotionally charged event.11 The trials occurred during a time of high anxiety

More about Ergotism In The Salem Witch Trials

Open Document