Reasons behind Salem Witch Accusations-bibliography included lucky reader

Essay by robzombieismyloverHigh School, 11th grade January 2004

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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. "...