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Do you actually know what caused the Salem witch trials?

I was watching a documentary on it and it was not even close to what I was told growing up.
A women's husband left her for a witch at which she claimed the witch cast a spell on her husband, because he loved her to much to do it on her own. The town then followed suit and claimed their missing children were used as sacrifices, and there were witches casting spells on many people in the town.It was caused out of ignorance and fear.
Did you know this?
Does it not just make you sick?
Why in the hell would people blame things like this on people because of their beliefs?
People who were truly innocent of the crimes they are accused of?


Asked by hot-mama86 at 6:33 PM on Apr. 23, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 26 (29,263 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (51)
  • I studied that topic at length in high school and it's disgusting how it all happened. Hell is full of witch hunters.

    Answer by Allergic2Stupid at 11:31 PM on Apr. 23, 2010

  • If you'll excuse the pun, which trials? Is this the US or Europe? The Colonial ones were, in the grand scheme of things, pretty minor. The European ones went on for hundreds of years in multiple countries, and you can't really reduce that to a single incident. The Euros brought their habits with them to the colonies - it wasn't like they just up and decided to have a witch trial - it was a habit their families and friends had practiced for centuries before they ever migrated to Massachusetts.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 6:44 PM on Apr. 23, 2010

  • I question the reliablity of the claim that a husband left his wife for a "witch" and everyone followed the accusation. I've read about the people who were accused in Salem and none of them were husband stealers. Some girls were having fits/seizures and no one knew the cause. Of the first three accused - one was a woman who didn't attend church regularlly, one was a begger waoman and the other a servant. I don't think any of the people accused/imprisoned/executed as witches ever really practiced witchcraft. It wasn't based on ignorance of witchcraft or the wiccan beliefs - it was based more on fear, ignorance of the cause of illness and there was a heavy political/economic motivation for accusing people of witchcraft as well. There wasn't just one cause. What is tragic is that people allowed their fear and moral outrage to lead them to the persecution of others.

    Answer by eringobrough at 6:46 PM on Apr. 23, 2010

  • I was always told that 3 girls accused this black woman of being a witch, and everyone started accusing everyone else

    Answer by AirForceWife14 at 6:47 PM on Apr. 23, 2010

  • i didnt know exactly what started it. but i know they use to judge if they were a witch by if they sank of floated. if they threw a woman in water and she floated she was a witch and if she sank she was not, but she drown. and they also use to believe if you had bumps on your vagina around your clit you were a witch.

    Answer by jennifer588 at 6:49 PM on Apr. 23, 2010

  • I think there are several ideas as to why the SALEM witch trials happened...but I'm not sure if these are the ones you are referring too.
    From what I understand, some believed that some young girls began spreading rumors about others. These rumors began to become "truth" to others, and people began using the accusation of a "witch" on others when they felt they were personally wronged.
    It turned into people pointing fingers, and claiming ANY actions as that of witchcraft. If a woman was strong willed, she was a witch. If a woman read too much, she was a witch. If a woman got angry, she was a witch. These kinds of things.
    I'm not sure how accurate these are...but this is what I have found out so far.
    And as long as the people accused claimed their guilt as that of a "witch" and "repented" of it, they hung or killed. (they weren't always hung....they were killed in numerous heinous ways)

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 7:14 PM on Apr. 23, 2010

  • that should say....'they weren't hung or killed."

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 7:15 PM on Apr. 23, 2010

  • I read somewhere that one theory was that some of these people that accused other people may have been sick from a fungus that grew on their bread supply and caused the seizures and convulsions.

    Answer by cherylw993 at 7:56 PM on Apr. 23, 2010

  • cherylw, I've heard the same thing. The fungus on the rye crop was causing the hallucinations.


    Answer by IhartU at 8:00 PM on Apr. 23, 2010

  • I've heard that as well cheryl.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 8:43 PM on Apr. 23, 2010