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What caused the halucinations that caused the Salem WItch trials?

I tend to lean towards that the grain in there bread was moldy therefore causing them to halucinate and convulse. WHat do you think caused them?


Asked by Ibelongtojesus at 8:36 AM on Jun. 9, 2009 in Just for Fun

Level 14 (1,659 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • It was a type of mold on the wheat. The year of the witch trials was especially rainy, and the mold grew. In the wetter end of the town, there were more accused witches. Whole villages in france have also had this 'demonic possession.'
    I forgot the name of the mold. Ergot poisoning, was it? Google it.
    Very tragic.

    Answer by Lovey1234 at 11:50 AM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • They didn't hallucinate at all.
    What happened is when Abby told the girls that she was not going to get into trouble for dancing naked with them in the woods in the night - that she would take them all down with them or else - they faked their actions and accusations to cover their butts from being condemned.

    Answer by PrydferthMenyw at 9:00 AM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • I think the people who had been "cursed" where either faking it or where actually sick and needed medical attention. Group hysteria is very powerful. Plus, I think the girls that originally started the whole mess where wanting the attention they got.
    Also, you have to remeber, people of that day were very freightened of anything that didn't fit into the little box that they gave religion. They did the same things to the medicine men of the Native American tribes. They believed they were "sorcerors" or "conjurors," so they felt they had to stop them from practing. They felt that the medicine men had cast some kind of spell over the whole tribe to make them do the ceremonies and rituals.

    Answer by spiritguide_23 at 9:24 AM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • I believe it's a combination of answers 1 & 2.

    Answer by SWasson at 10:19 AM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • Initially, they were faked. They were designed to keep themselves out of trouble & place focus on someone else. Unfortunately, it backfired. Once you start something like that, it is nearly impossible to stop the stone when it goes rolling down the hill. After that, there are two likely theories:

    1) They continued to fake their behavior & point fingers, for fear of loosing the positive attention placed on them, and getting instead negative attention. The negative attention likely would have been severe disdain, mistrust, and punishment due to their lying & the fact that their behavior resulted in the deaths of so many innocents, and/or eventual accusations of 'witchcraft'.
    2) Their desire to keep out of trouble (and keep all the positive attention possible on them) triggered a kind of group hysteria. It's very likely that they stemmed from delusional, megalomaniacal, and eventually desperate behavior on the part of the girls.

    Answer by _Jynxx_ at 10:30 AM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • What happened was simple! There was no hullucination that caused the accusations! What happened was simple. The puritins are VERY strict about their religious beliefs and practices. In those days a stray from the church could end in death. These girls had been toying around with a woman that was not a Puritin. I believe she worked for the family but was Native, if memory serves. They had been following her and even joined in to some of her practices. When they felt a threat they had to cover the fact that they did these things of their own malition. So, they blaimed the "witch" for their actions. There is a chance that they were using native ritual drugs they had gotten from Abby. But no proof of that. The drugs that were used at that time by the natives were similar in makeup to LSD.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 10:46 AM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • Either way, I don't think it matters. Those little girls kept up the sharade and because of them and their lies just so they didn't get in trouble 37 people died... 20 were hanged and one man was crushed to death...

    I don't have the belief in hell, but I almost wish I did just so I could believe these girls are there! They may not have "pulled the trigger" but they murdered 37 people and ruined the lives of many many others. Those that admited to Witchcraft were not killed but upon their reliece from prision were shunned and removed from their families and friends... Drugs or not, what they did is inexcusable!

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 10:48 AM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • ergot poisoning fom the mold spores on rye

    Answer by geminilove at 12:40 PM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • and you thought red meat was bad for you. damn.

    Answer by princezzmommie at 3:01 PM on Jun. 9, 2009