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The Theories Around What Caused The Salem Witch Trial Hysteria of 1692

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Have you ever become sick and not act like your “normal” self? Have you ever become so bored that you’d do anything to combat the boredom? The Salem witch trials are a historic mystery, that not even Sherlock could figure out. Although there has been a recent rise of Salem theories ranging from scary and graphic to just odd. There are about three most common theories that were most frequent, one is mental and physical health, another consisting of economic hardships, the last is just pure boredom.

It all began in 1662 in Colonial Massachusetts. Over two hundred people were accused of doing the “devil’s work” otherwise known as witchcraft and twenty people were executed. Many people were killed and or put in prison with the youngest being only six years of age, although the event only lasted a year. The most common story most know is that three young girls one being a servant played a game and discussed the secret happenings of witches. After that, they began having violent convolutions and acting like dogs. The final conclusions were that they have been possessed by the devil and are now doing his work.

As of the known facts of the Salem Witch Trials, we know that the three girls consisting of Tituba, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osbourn, played a game and afterward ended up becoming “witches” having side-effects such as insane convulsions. They also hid under furniture and barked like a dog. Many believe that these girls could have one of two things, conversation disorder and or ergot poisoning. Conversation Disorder is a disorder that causes mass hysteria. According to Dr. Robert Bartholomew “psychological conflict and distress are converted into aches and pains that have no physical origin”. One that hits the nail right on the head is Ergot Poisoning. It is a fungus that infects rye and other grains, which is also known as LSD. Ingesting it causes a number of things such as convulsions, vomiting, crawling skin sensations, hallucinations, gangrene and etc. On the other hand, Cold weather will put anyone in a horrible mood especially when it is 2-3 degrees Fahrenheit outside on average. The “little ice age” was in 1300-1870 this caused many hardships. According to “Economic hardships and the slowdown of population. The little ice age caused economic deterioration and food shortages.” Of course, all of that pointed to witches because why not. Witches were believed to be able to control the weather and all its elements. The Salem witch trials started right in the middle of the little ice age due to it starting in 1692. 

Finally, all kids love to play and have at least a little bit of leisure time. For the children in Salem, this was the complete opposite. Children were expected actually restricted from leisure time. Children were expected to do chores and study the bible. Due to the boredom, the girls picked up a game and were fascinated by the many things Tituba told them. “A modern theory suggests that the girls began to act strangely after the game because they were frightened by the game,” tells As all should be by speculation some believe that the same the girls played may have been a version of the now very popular game Ouiji board that will scare anyone playing weather they be an adult or a small kid. As one of their only outlets for an activity or leisure time, they naturally became drawn to these superstitions that Tatiba told them constintly.

The Salem Witch trials were a large time in history that is rarely talked about now. The lesson that can be learned about this time in history is that hysteria can spread around and cause many people to be falsely accused and even die. Nowadays people believe the most off the wall things and can even start to do things because it is a “trend”. Whether the Salem Witch Trials was due to insanity, illness, deprivation of normal resources or even just boredom; it was a serious time so much so that most hope – in this case – history doesn’t repeat it’s self. Something most can also learn is don’t allow kids to become “bored”.    

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