The Horrors of the Salem Witch Trials

1964 Words4 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 diet. There are differing proposals for the main cause, but there is evidence that supports the view that the children could have unknowingly poisoned themselves through specific food products.
The lifestyle of the Puritans who lived in Salem in the 1600s was very restricted because of their strong religious beliefs. Children were viewed as small adults, and they were expected to behave themselves as adults. The youth learned to work at a young age and had virtually no entertainment as viewed by modern standards. Reading scriptures was an approved activity, and the only real social event of the week would have been the Sunday worship service. Therefore, the view that the young accusers of those who were viewed as witches were acting out of boredom certainly seems possible.
However, a stronger position is that of unintentional ergot poisoning. Linnda Caporael is a behavioral scientist and full professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. As a student, she had taken a histo...

... middle of paper ...

...abama: Alabama Heritage.
Ergot of Rye-I: Introduction and History. Retrieved Feburary 2014, from Department of Botany: University of Hawaii at Manoa:
Fremon, D. K. (1999). The Salem Witchcraft Trials in American History. Springfield, NJ: Enslow.
Lewis, M. (Director). (2001). Secrets of the Dead: the Witches Curse [Motion Picture]. Educational Broadcasting Corporation in association with Mentorn-Barraclough-Carey Productions, Channel 4 (UK), and Thirteen / WNET New York.
Kallen, S. A. (2005). Figures of the Salem Witch Trials. Detroit: Lucent.
Matassian, M. K. (1989). Poisons of the past: Mold, epidemics, and history. Yale University.
May, P. (1998, December). Lysergic Acid Diethylamide - LSD. Retrieved Feburary 2014, from School of Chemistry University of Bristol:

Open Document