Witch Hunt

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Witch Hunt Authors Name: Institution: A witch is considered to be a person who “possess a supernatural, occult or mysterious power to cause misfortune or injury to others” (Levack, 2015). In the 17th century, witches were believed to be evil and cronies of the devil. According to Olson (1992), there was an ingrained conviction in fear of witchcraft and magic. They were seen as the cause of death and misfortunes as well as the ‘destroyers of souls’. Witches were shunned away as enemies of the society and faced harsh penalties, e.g., being buried alive, burnt to death or hanged. Witchcraft in the 17th century was practiced in most of the countries, e.g., Germany, Switzerland, France, Massachusetts Bay Colony, Salem, New England, etc. Each of the colonies and territories had a different mode of punishment for the accused people. In 1692, Massachusetts Bay Colony and Salem experienced an eruption of witch frenzy. The vulnerability to this epidemic was as a result of other challenges that were facing at that time. For instance, there were disputes among the people in Salem village which were a hub for agriculture and Salem town which constituted of cosmopolitan people (Olson, 1992). This contributed to the cultural conflict between the traditional people of Salem and the arising commercial culture of the Yankee people (Olson, 1992). Additionally, the village church which was the backbone of their morals was experiencing discord which led to some ministers being coerced to leave. Moreover, the current minister was not adored by the people at that time. However, the key challenge that deepened this crisis was the limbo state of the government (Olson, 1992).

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