Twenty people have been executed in the Salem witchcraft hunt since 1692. Many girls scream in the court as if they are controlled by witches who work for the devil. In fact, there is no witchcraft in the world. To fulfill their own aims, people accuse others of being witches.
Abigail, who is the niece of Reverend Parris, is one of the girls who scream in the court. And she is the troublemaker of this event.To achieve her purpose, she accuses a lot of people of being witches. Abigail is a vindictive, gossiping girl, and she loves John Proctor who has already married. She hates Elizabeth, who is the wife of John Proctor, so she dancs in the forest to curse Elizabeth, in order to take her place. She is seen by someone, when she is dancing. In order to escape from punishment, she lead the girls to accuse others of being witches.
They pretend to be controlled by devil and begin to exhibit strange behavior, such as blasphemous screaming, convulsive seizures, trance-like states and mysterious spells. In order to eliminate Elizabeth, Abigail frames her as a witch to recapture John. She succeeds in the accusation with the help of her uncle, Mr. Parris.
Mr. Parris is a paranoid and foolish minister in Salem. He is a widower with no interest in children. Besides the girls and John, he is the only person who knows that the trails are a fraud and that the girls are lying. Parris instigates villagers to believe that devil make the girls behave strangely. By doing this instigation, he can save his reputation and protect his daughter from punishment. He also denounces all challenges to the court as challenges to God and himself, and he pushes against witchcraft to suit his lying ends.
In this witchcraft hunt, there are two more beneficiaries, Mr. and Mrs. Putnam. Mr. Putnam is a man with many grievances and a vindictive nature. In order to get more land and eliminate many people whom against them, Putnams denounces others as witches. Putmans do not know the truth, but they are demagogues in the hunt.
It is clear that people fabricates witchcraft to fulfill their aims. Abigail accuses others of being witches to escape from punishment and take place of Elizabeth; Parris admittes that the devil make the girls dance to save his own reputation and to protect his daughter; Putnams exploite the witch hunt to eliminate someone. As a matter of fact, all the witchcraft, witches and devil are artificial facts. Reliance on spectral and intangible evidence should not be allowed in trails.