There are many different theories to why the girls in the Salem witch hunts cried out. There are very many
good theories on why these girls accused their neighbors. I think my theory is one of the great ones. John Proctor and
Abigail may not have had an affair but I do believe that there was some form of sexual contact between them. From
this Abigail contracted syphilis. This occurred a while before the trials began and so by the time Abigail began to cry
out she was in the latent stage of this sexually transmitted disease which caused her strange behavior described in this
article by Mike Shafer, "Sometimes she would stare into empty space, choke and cough or get on her knees and bark
like a dog," ( Mike Shafer, pg. 2 ). This shows that she was showing signs of dementia which is a symptom of
syphilis as described in this article by K.
Holmes, " Late stage signs and symptoms include not being able to
coordinate muscle movements, paralysis, numbness, gradual blindness and dementia," ( K. Holmes, pg. 1).This
shows that Abigail was not jealous but mentally ill. She was in the late stage of this disease and this caused her
The disease was not the only thing that caused Abigail and the other girls to cry out. I believe they were not
lying when they claimed they saw things. I believe that when they went out into the woods with Tituba they were
given mushrooms which caused them to have hallucinations. I believe they ate a large amount, not knowing anything
about them and this caused them to believe they saw spirits. In an article by George Smith about magic mushrooms,
he states some of the effects that high doses have on people. "...