Why Did the Salem Witch Hunt Occur
Many American colonists brought with them from Europe a notion in witches and an intrigue with alleged manipulation with the devil. During the seventeenth century, people were executed for witchcraft all over the colonies, chiefly in Massachusetts. Various of the accused were women, inducing some recent historians to recommend that charges of witchcraft were a way of dominating women who endangered the present economic and social order at that time.
In 1692 the famous Salem, Massachusetts, witchcraft trials took place, and that summer hundreds of people in the colony were taken into custody without any reason whatsoever.
To comprehend the events of the Salem witch trials, it is essential to investigate the times in which allegations of witchcraft occurred. There were the everyday stresses of 17th-century life in Massachusetts Bay Colony. A strong creed in the devil, factions among Salem Village fanatics and antagonism with nearby Salem Town, a recent small pox epidemic and the intimidation of assault by warring tribes constructed a fruitful ground for fear and skepticism.
The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 resulted in nearly 200 people imprisoned, 20 executed and a further 8 dying in prison. Most of the participants knew each other. Either blood or marriage tied some together. This was true of my ancestors, some were victims, others prosecutors and still others the afflicted.