Salem State University history professor Tad Baker is intrigued by Oster’s views. “It makes a lot of sense,” he said. He believes there are clues in diaries and sermons pointing to the fact that cold weather and poor harvests likely coincided with the witch trials.
What was the main cause of the Salem witch trials?
Accusations followed, often escalating to convictions and executions. The Salem witch trials and executions came about as the result of a combination of church politics, family feuds, and hysterical children, all of which unfolded in a vacuum of political authority.
What is the cold weather theory Salem witch trials?
The Salem witch trials fell within an extreme cold spell that lasted from 1680 and 1730 — one of the chilliest segments of the little ice age. … A winter fuel shortage would have made for a fairly miserable colonial home, and “the higher the misery quotient, the more likely you are to be seeing witches.”
How did the little ice age increase the number of witch trials?
The most active period of the witchcraft trials coincides with a period of lower than average temperature known to climatologists as the ”little ice age.” The colder temperatures increased the frequency of crop failure and colder seas prevented cod and other fish from migrating as far north, eliminating this vital food …
What disease caused the Salem witch trials?
The symptoms of convulsive ergotism have been recognized as the possible cause or influence of certain historical events, including the infamous Salem Witch Trials that occurred in 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts.
What religion was responsible for the Salem witch trials?
We have discovered that the lost lives of the accused witches were the direct result of the Puritan religious fanaticism of the day.
How many years did the Salem witch trials last?
How long did the Salem witch trials last? The Salem witch trials took place over the course of approximately one year. The initial afflictions of Betty Parris and Abigail Williams began in January of 1692. By March, the first arrests were made.
Did ergot cause the Salem witch trials?
In 1976 Linnda Caporael offered the first evidence that the Salem witch trials followed an outbreak of rye ergot. Ergot is a fungus blight that forms hallucinogenic drugs in bread. Its victims can appear bewitched when they’re actually stoned.
Do witch hunts still happen?
For 300 years in Europe, thousands were executed for being “witches.” But witch hunts are still happening today, says historian Wolfgang Behringer.
What really happened in Salem witch trials?
The Salem witch trials occurred in colonial Massachusetts between 1692 and 1693. More than 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft—the Devil’s magic—and 20 were executed. Eventually, the colony admitted the trials were a mistake and compensated the families of those convicted.
What were the symptoms of the Salem witch trials?
Matossian includes that cases of convulsive ergotism reported blindness, deafness, burning sensation, constipation, and stomach pain, all of which do appear in testimony in the records of the witch trials.