Salem Witch Trials Theories

Decent Essays
When considering possible explanations for the Salem witch trials, it is important to consider and reference other historical accounts of witchcraft. Although Salem presents its own unique case, and therefore is a result of things specific singularly to Salem, there may yet be a link to other cases of witchcraft. Cases may differ in religion, denomination, or other spiritual beliefs, and social setting. Additionally, a study of horticulture in the Salem area shows that hallucinogenic mushrooms may have contributed to the visions of witches. However, I have discovered in my studies that in most cases, there seems to be growing discontentment in each community before and during accusations of witchcraft. This is the clearest link between all cases. In my opinion, witchcraft is a result of suppressed feelings caused by human suffering. This is displayed as accusers in a community using witchcraft as an excuse to release tension, or rid themselves of enemies. Firstly, to explain my reasoning, it is important to understand Freud’s projection theory. In Freud’s book Taboo and emotional ambivalence, he explains that in simpler societies, an individual learns to suppress negative feelings about those around them, especially family. Freud describes projection as a defense mechanism, protecting the “ego” from anxious or guilty feelings. Negative feelings are projected in an acceptable manner, complying to religious or spiritual beliefs. A modern example of this would be the
Get Access