What is a witch-hunt? When studying the history of witchcraft, it is important to understand that witchcraft was a crime created and imposed on innocent people. No individual actually had the power to cause hailstorms, spread mass disease, or fly through the night to a gathering of evil beings. This was a crime imposed on innocent people during times of mass fear and hysteria. While the legal prosecution of witchcraft came to an end in the eighteenth century, the pattern of behavior that caused witch-hunts can be identified throughout history and in the modern day.

The Salem Witch Museum’s mission is to be the voice of the innocent victims of the witch-hunt of 1692, while also bringing awareness to the root cause of witch-hunts and how they continue to impact our society today. In our second exhibit, Witches: Evolving Perceptions, we present a formula that can be used to describe the pattern of behavior responsible for sparking witch-hunts, with examples from 1692 through the twentieth-century.

This formula is “fear + a trigger = a scapegoat.”

A scapegoat is defined as a person who is unfairly or irrationally the object of blame.

Over the years, many of our visitors have made suggestions to our staff, offering examples of what they feel qualify as an instance of a witch-hunt. There are so many examples of witch-hunts that have taken place throughout history, that we couldn’t highlight all of these suggestions in our exhibit. Since August 2017, we have been asking our visitors to fill out this formula with examples they believe fit this pattern, and to submit these suggestions to our museum. This webpage is a place to share these examples. Within this project, our Department of Education is currently actively imputing and updating these pages so as to display as many submissions as we are given, in their entirety, without alteration or interpretation.

The goal of this project is to give our public a voice to interact with the concept of a witch-hunt. Please note, the views and opinions expressed on the witch-hunt website are those of our visitors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Salem Witch Museum.

You may view these examples month to month, or thematically by scapegoat. If you wish to add a submission, please enter your example into the blank spaces below.

Fear

Trigger

Scapegoat

Armageddon

Fr

North Korea

Timothy Dalton , Taco Bell / July 11, 2019

Poor economy

Trump

Half the nation

Shelly , Ma / July 11, 2019

Fear: of Lack, of Discomfort

Artificial Scarcity + Potential Non-Access

Must Work Hard to Earn Your Place

Rei , NY / July 11, 2019

Liberals

Liberals

Conservatives

Mike , New Mexico / July 11, 2019

Failing

Laziness

Anxiety

Melissa , Melbourne / July 11, 2019

Death

Fear

Dying

Fermin , Los Angeles / July 11, 2019

DEATH

CREEPY NOISES

NEW YORK

ELIZABETH , CA / July 11, 2019

Financial loss

Sick

Medical history

Ashley , Rocklin, CA / July 11, 2019

spiders

on my hand

stay away from spider places

ash , melbourne / July 11, 2019

Economic

Immigrants

Mexicans/Latinos/Non-Whites

Angelia C. , Topeka, KS / July 11, 2019

Heights

Bad Mantainence

Tradies

Aman Rane , Australia / July 11, 2019

9 11 attack

Saudi Arabia

muslim

Kaylee , CO / June 06, 2019

witches

fear

townies

salem , massachusetts / June 06, 2019

Homosexuals

The Ellen Show

Christianity

Margaret S , CA / June 06, 2019

poor economy

hitler

Jews

Alexandra Herweg , Germany / June 06, 2019

America's economy losing domination

Trade war with China

Chinese students and scholars in America

Joey Zhou , MA / June 06, 2019

Disappeared Civility

Trump

Half the nation

Jon.Darling , Long Island NY / June 06, 2019

Nuclear War

Trump

North Korea

Abby , Dallas, TX / May 23, 2019

Attack from terrorist group

Loud bangs

Middle Easterners

Jovanni , Ca / May 19, 2019

Abortions

Humans

Trump

ashley h , Newport news, VA / May 16, 2019

Drug abuse

Mugging

Homeless people

Ashley Snyder , Va / May 15, 2019

overpowering of jobs

trump

immigration/ mexicans

Deedee Ochoa , CA / May 14, 2019

Outsider Elected President

Donald J. Trump

Russia Collusion

Christine , NY / May 14, 2019

Drug Abuse

Hitler

Jews

Raj , USA / May 13, 2019

War

Germany

Nuclear Winter

Jeff , WI / May 13, 2019

terrorism

9/11

Muslims

Lindsey C , CT / May 12, 2019

Terrorism

9/11

Muslims

Heidi , New York / May 10, 2019

nuclear war

trump

north koreans

Tanner Granacker , ct / May 10, 2019

terrorism

9/11 boston marathon

islam

Lucy F , MA / May 09, 2019

Communist sympathizer

A lot of public support for Joseph Stalin, and Vladimir Putin

Says she’s socialist

Kareen Pierre-Louis , NY / May 09, 2019

Nuclear War

Trump

North Koreans

Michael Lopez , New Jersey / May 07, 2019

nuclear war

Cuban missile crisis

Russia or North korea

john , NJ / May 06, 2019

Terrorism

9/11

Muslims

Stephanie , New York / May 05, 2019

Chaos and Bankruptcy Within Africa

The British

Rival Tribes

Zed Chen , MA / April 30, 2019

Terrorism

Trump

Muslims

Kris , CO / April 30, 2019

nuclear war

9/11

isalm

catherine , MA / April 29, 2019

Conspiracy of Government

jfk

Lee Harvey Olswalkd

REbecca , Australia / April 29, 2019

Sin

Strange Activity

Witches

Salem Witch Trials , MA / April 18, 2019

God/Devil

Ergot Poisoning

150 accused

Salem Witch Trials , MA / April 16, 2019

communism

Sick girl

Women practicing witch craft

The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 , MA / April 15, 2019

Terrorism

September 11,2001

Muslims

Test , MA / April 12, 2019

terrorism

september 11 2001

muslims

jon , ma / April 11, 2019

Loss of jobs

Robots

Mexicans

Ray , MA / April 11, 2019

Infection

AIDS

The Gay Community

Jacquelyn Ahmad , IN / April 08, 2019

Death

Hunger

Jews

Mehki , New York / April 08, 2019

The World Ending

Climate Change

Humanity

Chris , Florida / April 03, 2019

Mexican goverment

Bad president

Trump

Nessie May , MA / April 01, 2019

god/devil

aids

muslims

jeff rosenblat , austrila / April 01, 2019

Gender Equity

Misogyny/Toxic Masculinity

Women

CT , Santa Cruz, CA / March 26, 2019

Japan

Pearl Harbor

Japanese Americans

Salem Witch Muesem , MA / March 21, 2019

God/Devil

Dr.Griggs

150 Accused Townspeople

Abigail Williams , MA / March 20, 2019

terrorism

September 11, 2001

muslims

Alaina Schools , PA / March 19, 2019

Infection

Aids

The gay community

Tammie billado , Vt / March 18, 2019

witch

sickness

tituba

wyatt , WA / March 14, 2019

outsider

women's power

women

salem witch hunt , MA / March 09, 2019

Infection

AIDS

Gay community

Sarah Franklin , MA / March 07, 2019

God/Devil

AIDS

Black Listed Citizens

Rey , CA / March 06, 2019

Of witches

Witch trials

19 people killed

Salem Witchunts , Salem / March 05, 2019

god/devil

dr.griggs

150 accused townspeople

sam , ma / March 04, 2019

God/Devil

Dr.Griggs

150 accused townspeople

Brian , MO / March 01, 2019

imprisonment

freedom

slavery

ashley , rochester new york / February 28, 2019

infection

aids

the gay community

andrew , ny / February 26, 2019

Terrorism

9/11

Muslims

Ahmed , Calgary, Alberta / February 21, 2019

God/Devil

Dr. Griggs

150 accused townspeople

Lourdes Richardson , Louisburg / February 19, 2019

Crazies

Asylums

Movies

Jess , PA / February 18, 2019

God

Dr. Griggs

150 Accused townspeople

SWM , MA / February 15, 2019

God/Devil

Dr. Griggs

150 accused townspeople

July 18, 2018 , MA / February 07, 2019

God/Devil

Dr.Griggs

150 accused townspeople

Kyleigh Rodgers , MA / February 04, 2019

Depression

New study

Vaccines

Me , America / February 04, 2019

god/ devil

dr. griggs

150 accused townspeople

god , ma / February 03, 2019

test de peur

Pearl Harbor

Citoyens inscrits à la liste noire

TitubaMa , Massachussetss / February 02, 2019

Terrorist Attack

9/11

Muslims

Text , NYC / January 27, 2019

Communism

Liteally Everyone

Russians

Bryan Lynch , USA / January 27, 2019

water pollution

lead pipes

water company

Alonzo Ross-Brown , Providence, Rhode Islan / January 15, 2019

Spirits

Demons

Death

Gilbert DeLaCruz , Texas / January 14, 2019

devil

unknown illness

witches

Ayleks , FL / January 09, 2019

Terrorism

9/11

Muslims

Thomas , Salem / January 08, 2019

Socialism

Republican propaganda

Bernie Sanders

Thomas , Salem / January 08, 2019

Japan

Pearl harbor

Japanese Americans

Victoria , MA / January 06, 2019

good/evil

dr. Griggs

150 accused townspeople

Nicole Vanapalli , TX / December 31, 2018

Terrorism

9/11

Muslim Community

JAMR , VA / December 30, 2018

Christianity

Evangelists

Witches

Morgan Fu , New Zealand / December 22, 2018

Immigration

The Boarder Wall/Asylum Caravan

Central Americans/Latino Community

Ana , MA / December 20, 2018

infection

aids

the gay community

english , CA / December 17, 2018

god/Devil

Dr.Griggs

150 Accused Townspeople

jack , TN / December 13, 2018

islam

9/11

muslim

M C Jeauneau , France / December 12, 2018

communism

joe mccarthy

black listed citizens

D Joseph , Washington DC / December 11, 2018

Terrorism

9/11

The Muslim Population

Sneha Saggurthi , MD / December 11, 2018

witches

disease

townspeople

Salem Witch Trials , salem / December 04, 2018

Terrorisum

9/11

Iraq

Henry Radoc , Mn / December 04, 2018

japan

pearl harbor

japanesse americans

aldsfj , wi / December 04, 2018

Boer war

South africa

The British taking over

Jessica , Kimberley,South Africa / December 04, 2018

death

feminists

Donald Trump

Bobby , NH / December 04, 2018

God/Devil

Dr.Griggs

150 Accused Townspeople

Lillian ward , Charlotte, NC / December 03, 2018

god/devil

dr. griggs

150 accused townspeople

donna , NY / December 03, 2018

God/Devil

Dr. Griggs

150 accused townspeople

Pamela Heath , MA / December 03, 2018

Jews

Hitler

Death camps

A , France / December 01, 2018

infection

AIDS

the gay community

z , ok / November 30, 2018

Infection

Aids

Thé gay community

Ange , USA / November 30, 2018

Socialism

ANTIFA

All Urban Youth

Andre Semidey , Portland, OR / November 30, 2018

Communism

HUAC/ Joe McCarthy

Black Listed Citizens

Emma Borden , MA / November 29, 2018

Being different and violating religious beliefs

Being open and wanting attention

LGBTQ

Ally P Mady W Jake O Brady M , MASS / November 29, 2018

Competition in the workforce

Equal pay and more women working

Woman

James Andrew Daniel kayla matt , Millbury / November 29, 2018

Terrorism

Attacks

Muslims

School project , Massachusetts / November 29, 2018

Change in lifestyle

Race wage gap closing

African Americans

Kamiren, Leah, and Diandra , Ma / November 29, 2018

Terrorism

9/11

Muslims

emily , MA / November 29, 2018

Terrorism

9/11

Muslims

Anna, Emily, Hannah , MA / November 29, 2018

security

media

immigrants

taylor , MA / November 29, 2018

Replacement

More Educated women in the workforce

Women

Brandon , MA / November 29, 2018

Devil

Dr. Griggs

150 accused townspeople

Sara , NH / November 28, 2018

Terrorism

9/11

Muslims

Catriona M , UK / November 28, 2018

terrorists

9/11

muslims

Eric , Los Angeles / November 27, 2018

Communism

Joe McCarthy

Black listed citizens

Wil , Nj / November 27, 2018

communism

huac/joe Mccarthy

black listed citizens

swm , ma / November 27, 2018

Infection

AIDS

The Gay Community

Maya , OH / November 26, 2018

God/Devil

Dr. Griggs

150 Accused Townspeople

Stamatiou Anastasia , GR / November 22, 2018

God/Devil

Mr.Griggs

150 accused townspeople

Morgan , BC / November 21, 2018

God/Devil

Dr. Griggs

150 Accused Townspeople

Sabrina Pilotti , MA / November 19, 2018

communism

hauc/joe mccarthy

black listed citizens

florew , ma / November 14, 2018

Illness

Isolation

Hugh and Mary Parsons 1651 Witches in Springfield, MS

Jeanie Roberts , TX / November 13, 2018

Japan

Pearl Harbor

Japanese Americans

Samarah , Nj / November 13, 2018

infection

AIDS

The Gay community

PM , MA / November 13, 2018

Devil

Dr. Griggs

150 Accused Townpeople

Salem Witch Trials , MA / November 12, 2018

Communism

HUAC/Joe McCarthy

Black Listed Citizens

Cady , MI / November 12, 2018

God/devil

Dr. Griggs

150 accused townspeople

Alison , MA / November 11, 2018

God/Devil

Dr. Griggs

150 Accused Townspeople

Kendall , MA / November 10, 2018

God/devil

Dr. Griggs

150 accused townspeople

Amanda , MA / November 06, 2018

devil

Dr. Griggs

150 accused town people

Ashley , MA / November 06, 2018

God/Devil

Dr. Griggs

150 accused townspeople

Mary , PA / November 06, 2018

Communism

Joe McCarthy

Blacklisted Citizens

Shelly Pollard , Texas / November 06, 2018

Japan

AIDS

Japanese Americans

Juan , CA / November 06, 2018

sexual assualt

Me, Too Movement

Famous, Rich Men

Chelsea , Texas / November 04, 2018

God/devil

Dr. Griggs

150 accused Townspeople

Timmy , Pa / November 04, 2018

god/devil

peal harbor

Japanese Americans

liz , ca / November 02, 2018

god/devil

Dr. Griggs

150 accused townspeople

hailey , MA / November 01, 2018

god/devil

dr.griggs

150 accused townspeople

john , ma / October 31, 2018

Communism

Joe mcarthy

Black listed citizens

Jennifer , Mo / October 31, 2018

Communism

AIDS

The Gay Community

fdahblskfjhlfhsgdljhg , MA / October 31, 2018

Communism

Pearl Harbor

Black listed citizens

Jkveqchb , MA / October 31, 2018

terrorism

9/11/01

Muslims

Clyde thompson , UT / October 31, 2018

Communism

HUAC/Joe McCarthy

Black Listed Citizens

Damien Dunn , MS / October 31, 2018

communism

seizure

accused towns people

Anthony , MA / October 31, 2018

infection

aids

the gay community

Siara , CT / October 31, 2018

japan

pearl harbor

japanese americans

brock , utah / October 30, 2018

Japan

Aids

The Gay Community

Alec Stanton , CT / October 30, 2018

Japan

Pearl Harbor

Japanese Americans

eddie Jackson , weymouth ma / October 29, 2018

Middle East

9/11

Muslim americans

Mariah LaBarbera , New Jersey / October 28, 2018

God/devil

Pearl harbor

Japan

Brian , Ny / October 28, 2018

God/Devil

Dr.Griggs

150 Accused Townspeople

Kathleen , PA / October 25, 2018

God/Devil

Dr. Griggs

150 Accused Townspeople

Buff , VA / October 25, 2018

Infection

Aids

Gay Community

Kevin , Los Angeles / October 24, 2018

God/devil

Dr. Griggs

150 accused townspeople

Adair , SWM, MA / October 24, 2018

God/Devil

Dr.Griggs

150 Accused Townspeople

Neeka , Texas / October 23, 2018

communism

Cuban Missile Crisis

Embargo

Nancy , GA / October 22, 2018

god

girls

women

tituba , salem MA / October 22, 2018

Witch

Getting Sick

Women

Witch Hunt , MA / October 22, 2018

Financial hardship

Great Recession

Immigrants & poor people

Dan , CT / October 21, 2018

Japan

Pearl Harbor

Japanese Americans

Shelby , Florida / October 20, 2018

God

Dr.Griggs

150 Accused Townspeople

The Pope , MA / October 17, 2018

infection

aids

the gay community

virginia , ms / October 17, 2018

sexual harrasment

me-too movement

Judge Brett Kavanaugh

Charlie Jones , Cleveland Ohio / October 13, 2018

God/Devil

dr griggs

150 accused people

Frances , MA / October 11, 2018

God/Devil

Dr. Griggs

150 Accused Townspeople

Steven Coutrier , MA / October 11, 2018

Infection

AIDS

The Gay Community

Firstname Lastname , MA / October 09, 2018

Communism

HUAC/Joe McCarthy

Black Listed Citizens

Melissa Zielinski , NY / October 09, 2018

Communism

HUAC/Joe McCarthy

Black Listed Citizens

Christopher , NJ / October 09, 2018

communism

Joe Mcarthy

Black list citizens

diego , pintoç / October 08, 2018

Infection

Pearl Harbor

Black Listed Citizens

Morgan , New Jersey / October 07, 2018

God/Devil

Dr. Griggs

150 accused townspeople

AM , CT / October 06, 2018

Diversity

Trump

Immigrants

Jennifer Sunderland , RI / October 04, 2018

Infection

Aids

The Gay Community

Jesse , New York / October 04, 2018

communisim

Joe McCarthy

black listed citizens

lindsey , ohio / October 03, 2018

Infection

AIDS

The Gay Community

Kylee Bishop , IL / October 03, 2018

Japan

Pearl harbor

Japanese americal

Cody , Ma / October 03, 2018

God/Devil

Dr. Griggs

150 Accused Townspeople

ashley , CA / October 02, 2018

god/devil

dr. griggs

150 townspeople

a , ma / October 02, 2018

Japan

Pearl Harbor

Japanese Americans

Justin Knighton , CA / October 01, 2018

Devil

Dr. Griggs

150 accused people

NA , MA / October 01, 2018

God/Devil

Dr. Griggs

150 Accused people townspeople

Frances Derge , Frederick, MD / September 30, 2018

Devil

behavior

Witches

na , ma / September 29, 2018

Communism

HUAC/Joe McCarthy

Black Listed Citizens

Jeremy , MA / September 28, 2018

God

Dr.Griggs

150 Accused Townspeople

Carlos , MA / September 28, 2018

Communism

HUAC

Black listed citizens

Joe Mcarthy , MA / September 27, 2018

Communism

HUAC

Black listed citizens

Joe Mcarthy , MA / September 27, 2018

Japan

Pearl Harbor

Japanese Americans

Karli , NY / September 27, 2018

Japan

Pearl Harbor

Japanese Americans

Kelly , KY / September 27, 2018

witches

fits

witch hunts

salem , massachusetts / September 27, 2018

witch

Dr. Griggs

150 Accused Townspeople

KB , MA / September 27, 2018

japan

pearl harbor

japanese americans

david , wv / September 27, 2018

god/devil

Dr.giggs

150 accused people

natalie , SWM, Ma / September 26, 2018

Devil

affliction

Rebecca Nurse

Gwen , IA / September 26, 2018

God/Devil

Dr.Griggs

150 Accused Townspeople

Ramey , Texas / September 26, 2018

Japan

Pearl Harbor

Japanese Americans

Anthony , SC / September 25, 2018

God/Devil

Dr.Griggs

150 Accused Townspeople

Nina , MA / September 25, 2018

God/Devil

Dr. Griggs

150 Accused Townspeople

Ralph , MA / September 25, 2018

God/Devil

AIDS

150 Accused Townspeople

Elisa , MA / September 25, 2018

infection

aid

the gay community

chasity , Georgia / September 25, 2018

Communism

HUAC/Joe McCarthy

Black Listed Citizens

Cameron , Texas / September 24, 2018

devil

dr. griggs

150 accused towns people

sarah , MA / September 24, 2018

Communism

HUAC/joe mccarthy

Black listed citizens

Adrienne evans , Nh / September 22, 2018

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Scapegoat
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