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.

Search Witch Hunts by Date

Submissions may be viewed month to month by selecting a date below.

Fear

Trigger

Scapegoat

Unsafe

Crime

Black People

Aviva , MA / February 2021

police brutality

george floyd

BLM protest

veah , SC / February 22, 2021

Covid 19

Trump

Asians/Asian American

Nancy , CA / February 22, 2021

fanaticism

religious heretics and zealots

Muslims

Hugh Jazz , Nevada / February 10, 2021

Magic

Unexplained phenomenon of Divination

Labeled Divine women

Alecia V , Louisiana / January 21, 2021

Coruption

Train Basescu

Romanian Politicians And Businessmen Opposing Basescu

Damon , TN / January 20, 2021

Bombings

Wars (Middle East)

Muslim community

Steven G. , Barrow, England / September 2017

Crime

Decreasing numbers dominant race

Imprisoned & racial profiling of African-Americans

Donna S.B. , Cincinnati, OH / September 2017

inability to complete homework

lecturers

student

Emily , Konya / January 18, 2021

CORONA PANDEMIC

CDC GUIDELINES ON GATHERINGS

VACCINATIONS

Samuel Sherman , Westfield, NJ / January 15, 2021

Satan

Accused child molestation

California daycare workers

Witt , AZ / January 12, 2021

Autism

Faulty Study

Vaccines

Julia M , RI, USA / January 10, 2021

Disease from Asia

Coronavirus

Asians and Asian Americans

Marle , MA / December 2020

DISEASE

BRAD DEHAY

CORONAVIRUS

AMANDA VOSE , WA / December 21, 2020

womens right

Feminism

women

um’unique , CA / December 11, 2020

child abuse

gender-neutral bathrooms

the trans and lgbtq community

michelle w , IN / December 11, 2020

xenophobia

COVID19

chinese

grace , chicago / December 11, 2020

lack of future thinking

Trump

imigrants

Esmeralda , CA / December 11, 2020

More war

WWII

Japanese-Americans put into Interment Camps

Barbara , CA / December 11, 2020

loss of american jobs

Trump

Immigrants

Ary , CA / December 11, 2020

Job Loss And Culture Change

Donald Trump

Immigrants

Angelica , CA / December 11, 2020

Losing speed

Accusations of gender bias in High Tech

Women / feminists

Susan , Massachusetts / November 11, 2020

Nazis

2 war mundial

All germans are nazis

Sarah , Ny / November 11, 2020

The demise of democracy

Biden's election win

Mail-in votes/voters

Justin B , WI / November 10, 2020

Being found out

Lyndsay Graham

Homoerotism

Joe Biden , Washington DC / November 10, 2020

Corona Viirus

quarintine

chinese people

ina , uS / November 10, 2020

Loss of authority, trust, confidence

Revelations of sexual abuse of children by priests

The Priests

Gene R. , NY / November 10, 2020

Immigration

Racism

Brown and Black People

Easton , Texas / November 10, 2020

Fear of a Woman President

the 2016 Election/Misogyny

Hillary Clinton

Anonymous , MA / November 10, 2020

Infection and Death

COVID-19

President Trump

William , CT / October 2020

Terrorist Attacks

9/11

Arabic Community

Michael , / October 2020

Gun Violence

Shootings

Black People

Z , Massachusetts / October 10, 2020

Homosexuality

Conflicting Internal Feelings

LGBTQ+ Community

William E. , OH / October 10, 2020

Changing Supreme Court rulings

Death of RBG

President Trump and Amy Coney Barrett

Stephanie , PA / October 10, 2020

Men's Loss of Superiority

Rape

Women/Women's Actions

Sophia M. , IL / October 10, 2020

Devotion to Islam

9/11

Muslim people in China

Sloane , NJ / October 10, 2020

Drugs/Crimes

Donald Trump

Black lives Matter

Sebean , Nathan Pipes, MO / October 10, 2020

Loss jobs?community

Trump

immigrants

Sarah , Arizona / October 10, 2020

The unknown

Donald Trump

Trump

Sam , CA / October 10, 2020

China

Internet

COVID19

Sam , Massachusetts / October 10, 2020

police brutality

george floyd

police

Ricardo G , IL / October 10, 2020

vaccines

corona virus

china

Anonymous , china / October 10, 2020

Women President

Republican /Trump

Hillary Clinton

Melissa Bolton , Clinton Twp, Michigan / October 10, 2020

Conservatism

Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court Nomination

Brett Kavanaugh

Meg R. , MN / October 10, 2020

gun violence

government

our rights

lexi Moore , walmart El Paso Texas 2019 / October 10, 2020

immigration

racism

brown and black people

lauren , lauren ma / October 10, 2020

Critical Thinking (esp for yourself)

Media

President Trump

K. Kelly , VA / October 10, 2020

president poor choices and broke promise

Donald J. Trump

Immigrants

julienne R. , CA / October 10, 2020

Contracting the coronavirus

Quarentine

Wearing masks in public

Julia , TX / October 10, 2020

Loss of Identity Politics

Trump

Gay Conservatives

Jake , CA / October 10, 2020

Loss of White idenitiy

Immigration

The Wall

Chris H. , ID / October 10, 2020

The increase of the Muslim religion

the influx of the muslim population

muslims

camille , china / October 10, 2020

democrats loosing power

anti trump redurake

trump and his sopporters

anonymous , CA / October 10, 2020

COVID-19

Trump placing blame somewhere that is not himself for not acting upon what he knew about the Virus

The Chinese

Anna T. , MI / October 10, 2020

Terrorism

9/11

muslims

Alice , CA / October 10, 2020

COVID

Media

Trump

Williams , IN / September 2020

COVID-19

Ineffective Lockdown Policy

Young People or Super Spreaders

Eric , NY / September 2020

Middle East

9/11

Muslims

Kristin , MA / September 2020

Terrorism

9/11

Targeted Islamic Community

Olivia Darrow , TX / September 2020

Death and Sickness

COVID-19

China

Wade , MA / September 2020

People Dying

pandemic

Chinese

Graciela G , CA / September 10, 2020

Racial Division

Media

Donald Trump

Mike , KY / September 10, 2020

Riots

Peaceful Protests

African American Civil Rights

Lanell R , MA / September 10, 2020

Covid-19

Germs

everyone except politicians

Bridget Ames , USA / September 10, 2020

magic

religion and fear

modern day witches

goody , MA / September 10, 2020

Racism

George Floyd's wrongful death

All police officers

Anonymous , MA / September 10, 2020

Sexual harassment/abuse in the workplace

Harvey Weinstein

Innocent men who are financially successful

Anonymous , MA / September 10, 2020

Terrorism

9/11

Muslim Americans

Kristin , PA / August 2020

Communism

Progressive Party

Democratic Party

Mary Ann , NY / August 2020

Terrorism

Radical Islam

Muslims

Amir , NY / August 2020

Corona

Medai Fearmongering

Selfish People Living Life Without Fear

Stella , MA / August 2020

Balance of Power

George Floyd

Protestors

Anonymous , CA / August 2020

Terrorism

9/11

Islam

Aneeqa , MD / August 2020

Xenophobia

Coronavirus

Chinese People

Melissa , MD / August 2020

Coronavirus

Hysterical Media

Anyone Who Disagrees with Shutdown

Kacey Wong , MA / August 2020

American Economic Decline

Immigrant Caravan and ICE Records

Blaming Immigrants for Everything

Stephanie , NY / August 2020

Infection

Coronavirus Outbreak

Asian-Americans and Chinese

Jacob , MA / August 2020

Gang Activities

The War on Drugs

Black Men

Mandi Dorrell , NJ / August 2020

Institutional Racism

George Floyd Murder

The Police

Adrian Young , MA / August 2020

Bad Economy

Trump

Immigrants

Brandie , MD / August 2020

COVID

Trump

Asian Americans

Jenn , WA / August 2020

Law Enforcement & All Other Enemies of the Constitution or the People

A Caucasian Male Police Officer with a God-Complex & a loaded 9mm Handgun.

A Suspicious-looking African-American male wearing a black hoodie at night.

The War on Drugs , The United States of America / August 10, 2020

Black Population Growth

Planned Parenthood Center Locations

Black & Minority Children

Tyrone M. , Chicago / August 10, 2020

Country will be overrun with immigrants

Failure to maintain the immigration process

Legal Immigrants

John B , OH / August 10, 2020

Virus

Corona Beer

Candians

Canadarona 2020 , Salem, ma / August 10, 2020

Downward Spiral of Economy

Covid 19

China/POTUS

Cheryl Palermo , Buffalo, NY / August 10, 2020

Infection

COVID-19

Anyone Who Isn't Supportive of Trump

Amanoa , MA / July 2020

Covid Infection

Scaremongering Media

Dissenters Against Lockdown

Rakesh , NH / July 2020

COVID-19

Origin of Virus in China

Asian People

Alex , MA / July 2020

The Beatles Breaking Up

John Lennon remarrying

Yoko Ono

Tara C. , NY / July 10, 2020

Losing their White Supremacy (finally)

Black Lives Matter

Black People who are just fighting for their right to be treated like a human being

Shelby , FL / July 10, 2020

covid 19

the media/government

social distancing and wearing masks

ash , usa / July 10, 2020

COVID-19

pandemic

China

Elaine , Vancouver / July 10, 2020

Pandemic/Uncertainty

Economic Collapse

Asian Americans

Jenny , TX / May 14, 2020

fear of power loss

cinematographic industry

actresses women

Ange , France / May 14, 2020

Criminality

Border Wall

Families Being Separated

you , Massachussetts / May 10, 2020

Coronavirus spread

Media

All persons- regardless of symptoms or lack thereof

RJC , OH / May 10, 2020

Discease/illness

Coronavirus

Doctors/Nurses

Raquel , Mexico / May 10, 2020

popularity

violences

Manga readers

political men , USA / May 10, 2020

loss of influence

covis 19

china

MC , france / May 10, 2020

Misunderstanding of Science

Pro-life Policies

Women

Lilliana , MA / May 10, 2020

Loss of Individual Freedom

Repressive Republican Regime

Theocracy

Karen , UT / April 10, 2020

death/illness

coronavirus

mandated vaccines

Olivia , California / April 10, 2020

Job loss in Germany between the World Wars

Hitler inspiring extreme Nationalism

The Jews

Maddy K , NYC / April 10, 2020

Terror

9/11

Muslim Community

Jayden , MA / March 2020

Xenophobia

Coronavirus

Asian Americans

Hunter , TX / March 2020

Terrorism

9/11

Muslims

Tommy W. , FL / March 10, 2020

Nuclear Annihilation

Cold War

Communists

Tenhir Iyer , CA / March 10, 2020

Coronavirus

Mass Hoarding and Idiocy

Chinese

Rebecca , TX / March 10, 2020

Communism in the US

McCarthy

Supposed communists

Rachael , MA / March 10, 2020

Getting Corona Virus

Quarantine

China and Italy

Quinten Kouwenhoven , CA / March 10, 2020

Children dying

Stoneman Douglas High Schooll shooting

Guns

Parkland school shooting , Parkland, FL / March 10, 2020

Fear of being alone

Trump Election

Immigrants And Women And LGBTQ Community

Mario , Fl / March 10, 2020

AIDS

A growth of AIDS in the LGBT community

Homosexuals

Karina , FL / March 10, 2020

terrorism

911

muslims

jack s , fl / March 10, 2020

Money is disappearing

Jewish businesses were thriving

Jewish people

Holocaust , Germany / March 10, 2020

christianity in ancient rome

emperor nero

christians

heather , Michigan / March 10, 2020

Unplanned Pregnancies

Careless People

Unborn Babies

Gracie , KS / March 10, 2020

Xenophobia

Corona Virus

Asian People

Covid-19 Repercussions , Globally / March 09, 2020

Immigrants

Trump

Mexicans and Other Foreigners

Lil , NY / February 2020

Inequality

Fake News

White Males

Cliff Davis , CT / February 2020

Pandemics

Coronavirus

Asian People

Manny , Canada / February 2020

Terrorism and Extremists

9/11 Attacks

Muslims

Brian , MA / February 2020

Economic Instability

World Pandemic

Increase in Asian Hate Crimes

Alexandria Jones , KY / February 2020

Illness

Coronavirus

All Chinese People

Alli , MA / February 2020

Failed Economy

Fox News

Immigrants

Anonymous , MA / February 2020

Terrorism

9/11

Immigrants

Rola C. , Taiwan / February 2020

Coronavirus

Quarantine

Chinese People

Amanda , CT / February 2020

Magic

Religion and Media

Modern Day Witches

Atrego , MA / February 2020

Political Intolerance

Widespread Corruption

"Everyone is a Russian Agent"

Amy M. , CT / February 2020

Vaccines

Coronavirus

China

Anonymous , NA / February 2020

Immigration/Racism

Poor Economy and Wealth Distribution

Immigrants

Jillana K. , NY / February 2020

Infection

Corona Virus

China/Asian People

Kathryn , MA / February 2020

Scare Resources/Unemployment

Donald Trump

Mass Genocide at Southern Border

Niemi , CA / February 2020

Immigrants

Make America Great Again

Border Camps and Visa Rejections

Bonnie Kay B. , TX / October 6

New Conservative Judge

False Accusation

Confirmation Hearing/ Kavanaugh Trial

Eric , CA / February 2020

Corona Virus

Masks

China

Squiddy , Swagville, WV / February 10, 2020

Black male power & strength

Obama presidency

Unarmed black men

Nichole Wofford , Northampton / February 09, 2020

being poor

hitler

muslims

marissa , Iowa / February 09, 2020

homophobia

gay people

democrats

John , California / February 09, 2020

Loss of Economic Status

Trump

Immigrants/People of Color

Anonymous , Canada / August 1

U.S. Constitution

President Trump

Liberalism

Anonymous , NA / 2018

2016 Election

Donald Trump

Witch Hunt of Liberals

J , NA / 2018

SOCIALISM

DEMOCRATS

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP

ANNA , NY / February 04, 2020

Immigrants

Donald Trump

Mexican Americans

Marion , MI / February 04, 2020

Truth

Accurate reporting in the press

The Free Press

John , PA / February 04, 2020

Parent's child being "abnormal"

Autism

Vaccines

Hayley Bray , NJ / February 04, 2020

Immigration

Trump

All immigrants

E , FL / February 04, 2020

Death

Sick Girl

Witches

Dave Martinez , Location / February 04, 2020

impeachment

democrats

fake news

Cooper S. , Tejas / February 04, 2020

Global Warming

Al Gore

Trump

Rick , Kaysville / February 04, 2020

Donald Trump

Everthing Trump says/does

Trump Voters harrassed/attacked

Ed Walters , TX / February 04, 2020

Loss of cultural norms in Iran

Iranian Womens suffrage

Iranian Women

Jack , USA / February 04, 2020

Unemployment

Jobs outsourced abroad

Immigrants

John Penty , Uxbridge, Middlesex, UK / February 04, 2020

Mass persecution

The holocaust

Innocent Germans

Adolf S , Poland / February 04, 2020

unexpected events

illness

witches

Salem witch trial , Salem, Massachusetts / February 04, 2020

drug abuse

hitler

jews

josh east , GA / February 04, 2020

homosexuals

the ellen show

christianity

unknown , GA / February 04, 2020

The death of traditional media

Jokes taken out of context

Pewdiepie/online entertainers

True , PA / February 04, 2020

Responsibility

Pregnancy

Unborn babies

Kathy , MO / February 04, 2020

Change

Election

Donald Trump

Kathy , MO / February 04, 2020

people who are diffrent

death camps

Jews, Disabaled, Sick people, Ect

Stacey , AK / February 04, 2020

School Shooters

School Shooter Played Nintendo Once

Video Games

Collin , FL / February 04, 2020

Mendacious, intransigent bosses

Others claiming power or authority

Lower-status employees

Lia , CA / February 04, 2020

Powerful Women

presidential election

Hilary Clinton

Eileen , MA / February 04, 2020

South of the Border Immigration

Trump

Undocumented Men, Women & Children

Michelle , CO / February 04, 2020

Hate, racism, Trumps dictatorship

Trump/KKK

Canada

Michael , MA / February 04, 2020

Violence

Mass shootings

Video Games

Destiny , IN / February 04, 2020

Communism/Workers Party (PT)

Lula in Brazil

Left wing

D , NY / February 04, 2020

Ghosts

Clairvoyance

Witches/ Demonology

Stef M. , Bakersfield, CA / February 04, 2020

infection

aids

gay community

rachel , MA / February 04, 2020

Political Correctness

Democrats/Liberal Socialists

President Trump, best since Reagan

Mitch Smith , NY / February 04, 2020

Rape/Murder

Trump

Immigrants

Miranda McLemore , NC / February 04, 2020

Mass Shootings

Misguided Mental Illness

Guns

Carrie , CT / February 04, 2020

Stranger Danger

Citizens arrested & accused of sex crimes

Registered Sex Offenders

Chad , NY / February 04, 2020

Economic Recession

Trump campaign

"China stealing jobs"

Harvard Li , MA / February 04, 2020

nazis

economy

jews

Hitler , Germany / February 04, 2020

Change

Nationalist Liar

Immigrants

Chandler , IL / February 04, 2020

Differences

Immigration

Latinos

Stacy , Ne / February 04, 2020

Homosexuals

The Ellen show

Christianity

Margret S , CA / February 04, 2020

AR-15

Gun violence

Law abiding gun owners

MC , NJ / February 04, 2020

Safety and Health of Family

Drug Trafficking

Mexicans

Kenneth , WA / February 04, 2020

Fake news

Politicians

Media

Florine/Valentin , France / February 04, 2020

Impeachment

Ukrainian allegations

Democrats

Astrid , France / February 04, 2020

Change

Ignorance

Everyone

Harry W , NY / February 04, 2020

Losing National Security

American removal of troops in Syria

Kurds

Astrid , France / February 04, 2020

Crimes/national security

Immigrants

Homeless people

Clara , FRANCE / February 04, 2020

Death/Starvation

Economic crises

Nobilty

Emile , FRANCE / February 04, 2020

Islamophobia

attacks

headscarfed women

Lindsay , France / February 04, 2020

Miserables conditions

Gilets Jaunes

French Government

Gilets Jaunes’s mouvement , France / February 04, 2020

World war 3

Trump

The wall

Jessyjames , MO / February 04, 2020

Not safe in our country

Donald Trump

Everyone who is democratic

Josie L. , WI / February 04, 2020

Terrorism and lack of work

Immigrants

Trump

Ben , NY / February 04, 2020

Taliban

September 11 attacks

Muslims

Abi F , IN / February 04, 2020

Psychopaths and mentally disturbed people

Mass shootings

Violent video games

Nhaj , WI / January 31, 2020

Coruption

Traian Basescu

Romanian politicians and businessmen opposing Basescu

Victor , Romania / January 31, 2020

Tryanny

Trump

VOTERS for Trump

Robert , MA / January 31, 2020

Racism

White cops

African-American

Madeleine , DXB / January 31, 2020

rape/assult

rape/assult in a small town

womens trust

kathryn , MI / January 31, 2020

Of witches

Witch trials

19 people kill

Jen , Massachusetts / January 31, 2020

Submit a Witch Hunt

Scapegoat
Example: for Massachusetts, put in MA