The History of Salem Witch Trials
By Emily Davis
When Salem’s greatest pastor’s daughters and niece come down with hallucinations, fits, temper tantrums, and screaming recently after indulging in fortune telling learned by their slave, Timba, from Barbados, there's only one thing to blame...witchcraft.
The children, unable to come up with answers themselves, blamed the slave and two more outcasted citizens of the town. Timba pleaded guilty after she was subjected to torture and harassment; she eventually gave in. Timba and the other two women were the first hanged for witchery in salem.
After this, many more women and girls began to seize. Witch accusations were no longer just toward social outcasts, but now even women of high political accusations (even the governor's wife) were up for trial. By the end of it all, 19 women, 4 men, and two dogs were put to death for witchcraft.
Many historians believe the reason so many women and men experienced these episodes is due to poisoning from fungus or infection of encephalitis which is inflammation of the brain and includes confusion, agitation, hallucinations, seizures, loss of sensation, paralysis in certain areas of the face or body, problems with speech or hearing and loss of consciousness. These symptoms greatly relate to the symptoms of the accused women.
Over 20 people were burned,stoned and hanged just because they were infected by a fungus.