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The Causes of the Salem Witch Trials

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What caused the Salem Witch Trials? This question has been asked for hundreds of years, yet the world still isn't sure of the answer. The only statement that can be proven is that there were multiple causes (salemwitchtrials.com). No one factor pushed the trials into existence. Even simple things, like fear, took a part in the overall cause. To this day, scientists and researchers alike still argue over the answer to this riddling question.
In the early winter months of 1692, in colonial Massachusetts, two young girls began exhibiting strange symptoms that were described to be "beyond the power of Epileptic Fits or natural disease to effect (examiner.com)." Doctors looked them over, but could not come up with any sort of logical explanation for their ailments. Therefore, the girls were accused of taking part in witchcraft. Soon, other young women in the village started showing similar symptoms. This "illness" of sort slowly made its way through the village to many of the residents. Soon, people started coming up with possible theories as to what started all the madness.

One of the broader suggested causes was hysteria. Hysteria can arise due to many different situations. One catalyst for hysteria was fear. Fear of things such as Indian attacks (salemwitchtrials.com) kept people up at night. People lived in fear-ruled worlds. Puritans had to be careful, because at any point Indians could attack them. This resulted in the spread of rumors, because survivors of attacks would then go and seek protection in Salem, and they would tell others of their recent horrific experience.

Among the rumors was the idea that the natives were connected to the devil. People believed that the Indians were Satan-worshippers, and that not only were...

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