Reasons for the Outbreak of Witchcraft Hysteria in Salem
Which of the following is most responsible for causing the hysteria around the
Salem witch hunt? Rank each from 1 to 6. One being the most responsible, 6 being
the least responsible.
_________ Symptoms. The girls’ symptoms could only be caused by witchcraft.
_________ Setting. The dancing took place in the woods.
_________ Smallpox. The smallpox epidemic signaled the devil was present.
_________ Ergotism. A disease caused by eating rye infected with the ergot fungus.
Among other things, it can produce hallucinations, causing strange behavior.
_________ Teenage boredom. No television, no CDs, and lots of Bible reading. Fun is
_________ Feuds. Disputes within the congregation and property disputes between the
accusers and the accused.
Using your rankings, write a response that explains your position. Use examples from the
play, what you know about the Puritans, and your own opinion to back up your reasoning.