American Horror Story: Witch Hunt

Decent Essays
The fear of and execution of witches isn't only an American horror story, this particular hunt was in place in England before. In 1542 parliament made witchcraft a capital crime, and between the years of 1645-1647 several hundred were hanged(Karlsen 2). Although in theory, men and children could be witches but still ninety percent of the witches hanged in England were women. The country feared the witches because of the belief that they caused harm on neighbors and properties, also called maleficium(Karlsen 6). Because of this, everything from deaths to doing domestic chores too quickly, led to the belief of being a witch (Karlsen10). But the witches of England were evolving into something else in New England. Instead of being just poor woman, that were a threat against the property and neighbors; New England deemed a witches ultimate threat to be the relationship with the devil (Karlsen 4). Witches are deemed to be heretics and thus the enemy of society and god, who recruited people for the devil to destroy the Puritan church (Karlsen 10). One notable figure that has to be discussed is Anne Hutchinson, who was a key player in the Antinomian controversy. She had a different interpretation of the Puritan doctrine, and she criticized the theological positions held by the clergy. Her outspoken theological views and her views on religious leadership where a woman had a bigger role in religion caused the leading men in the community to be hostile towards her. (Karlsen
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