2015-06-12

How Satan went viral

Read more at: Journal Online


IN 1692, mass hysteria swept through Salem, Massachusetts, spawning one of the most notorious miscarriages of justice in American history. Townspeople, fearful of the devil, began accusing men and women of witchcraft, putting them on trial. They eventually hanged 19 and pressed one to death. Now, a map plotting the geography and timing of each accusation has found a possible starting point for the frenzy: the home of an embattled local reverend. The spread of hysteria is described in a new book, Satan and Salem: The Witch-Hunt Crisis of 1692 by Benjamin Ray, a religious studies professor at the University of Virginia.
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