Salem - Salem witch trials 1 Salem witch trials Sabrina...

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Salem witch trials 1 Salem witch trials Sabrina Armstrong Com/220 April 24, 2010 G.L. Beck
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Salem witch trials 2 Salem witch trials: a drug induced hysteria What happened in Salem in 1692? The people involved in the Salem witch trials were more than just names, dates and places; they were people with lives and families as well. The Salem witch trials started with three girls falling ill with mysterious symptoms that the doctors could not explain by medical science during that point in history. Many people still wonder today why the hysteria took place. Some people believe that, what caused the hysteria was a by-product of children’s self- delusions. Other people believe that while, the hysteria fueled the Salem witch trials it was not the cause of the trials. A handful of people instead believe that it was drug induce by a toxic fungus called ergot. Ergot is a mold often found on plants such as rye, wheat, and barley, which during the witch trials and still today people made bread from these plants. St. Anthony’s fire is also another name for ergotism. Ergot is a type of food poisoning; that during; Medieval Times was frequent. Although ergot does not include LSD, it does contain ergotamine, which is the hallucinogen that LSD derives from. The evidence suggests that digesting food with ergot in it will poison people and make them sick; this was a major aspect in the Salem trials but no one realized this until recently, when historian and behaviorist psychologist Linnda Caporael did a study on the trials (Stefko, 2010, para 1-3). According to Caporael, the witch-hunts began when people showed signs of developing ergot poisoning but people believed witchcraft was the cause of their affliction because during that point in history people often thought that it was witchcraft when they could not physically explain it (Caporael, 1976, para. 10). Historian Mary Matossian backs up Caporael’s conjecture as well. Caporael and Matossian both have studied the temperature, the rainfall; and the crops that grew in areas in, which people found ergotism and they both discovered that a large proportion of witchcraft trials occurred in these same areas during that point in history when the grain grew there (Stefko, 2010, para 1-3). People found a 2000-year-old man in a bog; that for some reason time preserved him completely because of the soil the people found him. He seemed like he died very recently. The scientists examined the stomach, intestines, and had tests done on their contents, which the scientists discovered that the man's last meal had been a kind of homemade soup made from seeds and vegetables. Barley was one of the ingredients that he digested contained large amounts
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Salem witch trials 3 of ergot fungus, which found on rotted rye. This proves that ergot did in fact exist at that in point in history when the witchcraft hysteria took place (Tollund man, 1989, para 6). Before the Salem witch trials, there was another outbreak of witch hysteria. On
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Salem - Salem witch trials 1 Salem witch trials Sabrina...

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