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

Covid

Rise in covid cases

Asian Americans

Lucia , CA / November 19, 2021

EA Sports

Madden

Colin Kaepernick

Jack , OH / November 16, 2021

Domestic violence Extremism

Kenosha shooting

Kyle Rittenhouse

Jose , CA / November 16, 2021

Qing States

Chinese-Taiwan Annexation

China

Anonymous , Beijing, China / November 15, 2021

Bad Grades

Test/Projects

Teachers

Elijah , Payton, MA / November 12, 2021

Gang Violence

Drugs/Guns

Rap Music

Elijah , Peter, MA / November 12, 2021

Gen Z Attitude

Phones

Technology Bad

Elijah , MA / November 12, 2021

Heart Attacks

Fast Food

Fast Food Chains

Elijah , MA / November 12, 2021

Titans

Endangerment of humanity

Eldians

Eren , Attack on Titan / November 10, 2021

Following U.S. laws and regulations

Liberals

Trump

M , NY / November 10, 2021

Gang Violence

drugs,guns

Rap Music

Peter , MA / November 2021

Gun violence

School shootings

Gun owners

McGregor , MA / November 2021

guns

gun violence

video games

Brent , MA / November 03, 2021

Covid-19

Mandating the vaccine

People who got the vaccine

Savannah , MA / November 03, 2021

Bad grades

tests/projects

teachers

Payton , MA / November 03, 2021

Death

COVID-19

Government

Matt , MA / November 03, 2021

Police Brutality

George floyd

Police

Gavin , MA / November 03, 2021

Disease From Asia

Coronavirus

Asians

Anonymous , MA / November 2021

Same sex flirting with you

Homophobia

Gay People

Kendall , MI / November 03, 2021

Satan Worshiping and Rock Music

Rock and Roll Music

Rock and Roll Artist

Music , MA / November 2021

Terrorism

9/11

Muslims

Lillian , Melrose, MA / November 02, 2021

Death/Sickness

COVID/Vaccinations

Un-Vaccinated People

Casey , PA / October 2021

Economic Crisis In Germany after WWII

Hitler Rising to Power

Jewish People

Jason, Meredith, Fatma , MA / October 29, 2021

Unexplained happenings

Bad luck

Black cats

Tiana , NY / October 28, 2021

Pandemic

Coronavirus

Asian Americans

Sarah , MA / October 26, 2021

Disability

Autistic children

Vaccines

James , California / October 25, 2021

communists

Russian revolution

Immigrants

Palmer , U.S / October 25, 2021

Obesity

Fatphobia

Skinny people

Jake , CA / October 21, 2021

Challenging social mores

Strong Women

Women with property

Grace , NH / October 21, 2021

Heart Attacks

Fast Food

Fast Food Chains

Gavin , MA / October 20, 2021

Women deprived of abortion

Texas

Governor Greg Abbott

Millie , MA / October 20, 2021

Gen Z attitude

Phones

Technology Bad

Antonio , Freetown, MA / October 20, 2021

Curiosity

The Jar

Pandora

Aiden , MA / October 20, 2021

people from foreign countries

COVID-19 pandemic

asian people

Whitney , MA / October 20, 2021

Punishment After Death

Confrontation Of Religion

All Christians are bad/Corrupt

Kayla , SC / October 18, 2021

Watching A Boring TV Show

A Missing TV Remote

The Only Other Person sitting in the Room

Warren , Dublin, Ireland / October 16, 2021

Stalking/murder

Jealousy and obsession

Borderline Personality Disorder

Sierra , WA / October 16, 2021

women having bodily autonomy

"killing babies"

abortion

Sarah , New York / October 13, 2021

National Attack

911 bombing

Islam-americans

Anonymous , NY, USA / October 13, 2021

COVID

Media

Donald Trump

Chris , MA / October 2021

stolen election

Trump & Right Wing Media

democratic voters

Ginny , Connecticut / October 11, 2021

bombing buildings by terrorist

9/11

Muslims (islam)

Anonymous , Manhattan, NY / October 09, 2021

Police Brutality

George Floyd

Cops

Walter , MN / October 06, 2021

Death of Democracy

Insurrection of 1/6/21

Democrats

Anonymous , MA / October 2021

Islam

9/11

Arab Americans

Megan , OH / October 2021

Infection/Death

Covid-19

Unvaccinated Individuals Being the “reason” for variants

Jo , IN / October 03, 2021

Infection

COVID-19 Pandemic

Asian Americans

Zoe , PA / September 2021

Covid-19 and peer pressure

News coverage of the pandemic demonizing the unvaccinated

Unvaccinated people

Anonymous , US / September 28, 2021

gun violence

shootings

black community

Gabe , MO / September 24, 2021

Covid spread/infection

Government/Media

Unvaccinated

Laree and Tim , Tx / September 23, 2021

COVID-19 Death

Politics/Trump

Democrats

Morris , MA / September 2021

4th wave

Covid

Unvaccinated

Veronica , Canada / September 19, 2021

Women Having Bodily Autonomy

"killing babies"

Abortion

Emily , Boston, MA / September 18, 2021

America becoming more diverse

critical race theory

teachers and school boards

Leigh , SC / September 16, 2021

Punishment After Death

Confrontation of Religion

All Christians are bad/corrupt

Kayla Edwards , SC / September 16, 2021

communists

mc carthy

black listing people

samuel davidson , North Dakota / September 15, 2021

police brutality

george floyd

cops

Walter , US / September 15, 2021

Democratic Socialism

Government

Joe Biden

Jackson , Taylors, SC / September 15, 2021

Transphobia

Straight people who wouldn't date a transgender person

"Super Straight"

Anon , CA / September 15, 2021

Hell

Christianity

Pagans

Adah , GA / September 15, 2021

Predatory People

Complication of Gender Binary

Trans and Gender Nonconformity

Max , VA / September 2021

wokeness

political correctness, climate change mask/vaccine requirements

pandemic

Maggie , Saint louis / September 10, 2021

Pandemic

Fox News/Trump/Conservatives

Asians/Asian Americans

Jillie , Denver, CO / September 9

Vaccine

Covid 19

Government

Laplacian Daniel , Australia / September 07, 2021

Gun violence

teenagers being bullied

video games

A , NY / September 02, 2021

Homosexual Harassment

Bishop McGuinness High School Harassment

Harrison Satterfield

John Hamblin , NC / September 02, 2021

Terrorism

9/11

Muslims

Alexa , NJ / September 2021

Racism

Black Lives Matter

Black Americans

Alexa , NJ / September 2021

Satan Worshiping and Rock Music

Rock and Roll Music

Rock and Roll Artist

Ozzy Osbourne , United States / August 30, 2021

Not Getting Money from the Government

Being Lazy

Latinos

Kevin , Brick, NJ / August 29

COVID-19

Dr. Fauci and News Media

Unvaccinated and Doubters

Jeff Ruzicka , Solon, IA / August 28

Wokeness

Political Correctness, climate change mask/vaccine requirements

Pandemic

Joanne B , South Carolina / August 25, 2021

End of hand-drawn animation

CGI animated film/TV

Disney

Jeffrey Gao , USA / August 25, 2021

covid 19

increased cases/deaths

unvaccinated

Natasha , New Jersey / August 23, 2021

Death

September 11

Minorities

Riley Johnson , United States / August 20, 2021

War

9/11

middle easterns

Jorge Guajardo , MA / August 19, 2021

Chinese Domination

New Fun and Popular App

TikTok

Reagan , NY / August 2021

Erasure

Religion

Women Reproductive Rights

Ana , Massachusetts / July 28, 2021

Covid

Media

The Unmasked

TJ , MA / July 28, 2021

"Foreigners"

Sept 11

Muslims

Bonnie Hoffmann , VA / July 19, 2021

Democratic Socialism

Top 1% losing Control of Gov't.

Poor People & The Working Class

K , Maine / July 13, 2021

Sickness and Death

Novel Coronavirus

Unvaccinated

Emily , NY / July 2021

China

COVID19

Asian Americans

Bess Protocio , NY / July 2021

Safety Threaten

First Case Cov-19 in China

Chinese and Asian Community

Fiona Cui , MA / July 04, 2021

white supremacy

trump

citizens

hero , MA / July 04, 2021

Unusual or Different Leadership Qualities

Conspiracy Theories

Left Thinkers and Right Thinkers

Cathi , Pataskala, Ohio / June 2021

Unemployment

Recession (Economic)

Marginalized Immigrants

Grey , Boston, MA / June 2021

Socialism

Government

Trump

TOM CAPPUCCI , MA / June 26, 2021

Death

The Devil

Bridget Bishop

Abigail Williams , MA / June 24, 2021

Diversity

Mass Immigration

Hispanic Immigrants/Refugees

Amber , Chicago, IL / June 2021

Control/Rules

Pandemic

Michigan Governor Whitmer

Lisa Jevens , Ann Arbor, MI / June 2021

Oppression

CRT

Caucasians

Karen , Ga / June 11, 2021

Politics

COVID-19

Conspiracies

Taylor , Redondo Beach, CA / June 2021

grades

teachers

students

Satyam , Boston MA / May 30, 2021

A virus

News

Non compliant people

Jonathan , IL / May 29, 2021

Minorities Rise

Donald Trump

Latino Community

M. Perez , Dallas, TX / May 2021

Inability to pay bills

Inflation

Rich people and government

Gayle , MA / May 25, 2021

Approval

Celebrity Culture

Social Media

Usman Mahmood and Gaymr , Round Rock, TX / May 2021

Terrorism

Donald Trump

Muslim Community

Madison , Dallas, TX / May 2021

Violence

Trump

Black Community

Renee , Piscataway, NJ / May 2021

Posession

Different Behavior

Autism

Marcella Velasco , Belmont, MA / May 2021

Virus

COVID

Asian Community

Kimberly Jump , LA / May 13, 2021

Communism

CNN

Joe Biden

Carly LaReaux , Indiana / May 10, 2021

Infection

COVID-19

Asian Community

Bethany , Piscataway, NJ / May 2021

Disease

COVID-19

Asian Americans

Lillian Ngu , Melrose, MA / May 2021

Terrorism

9/11

Muslims

Lillian Ngu , Melrose, MA / May 2021

Crazy People are a Threat to Life

Person with Mental Illness in Crisis

ALL PERSONS MENTALLY ILL. There's increase in Police Killings of Persons with Mental Illness in Canada as an Outcome.

Darren Gregory , Creston, BC, Canada / April 20, 2021

Pandemic

Coronavirus

Asian Americans

Rayma , New York City, NY / April 2021

COVID19

Outbreak in Asia

Asian Community

Brittany and Elaine , Stratford, CT / April 2021

Racism/Losing White America

September 11

Mosques/Muslims

David Rastall , Lansing, MI / April 2021

Death

COVID

Asian Americans

Aya , MI / April 2021

Homophobia/Trans-phobia

Having a sexual preference that doesn't include lgbtq

Straight people

Lando , PR / March 30, 2021

Fascism

Trump

Conservatives

Lance , FL / March 29, 2021

War

9/11

Middle Easterners

Gwendolyn , Brooklyn, NY / March 2021

COVID

Dr. Fauci

Chinese Americans

Brienne , Fort Wayne, IN / March 2021

Infection

COVID-19

Chinese Americans

Andy Ortiz , Weston, FL / March 2021

Socialism

Politicians

Minorities

Annette , Damascus, MD / March 2021

Black Lives Matter/Minority Violence

U.S. Capital Storming

White Men

Paula , Bloomfield Hills, MI / March 2021

more diseases or sicknesses

Using sicknesses to cure sicknesses

Enforcing Anti-vaxxers to vaccinate

Jesiel Centeno , New York, Brooklyn / March 11, 2021

Public Speaking

Presentations/projects

School teachers/admin

Aubrey , TN / March 04, 2021

Death

dangerous areas/situations

Religious people

Keyshawn C. , TN / March 04, 2021

Interacting with aggressive animals.

Kid falling into gorilla habitat.

Harambe

Eli Smith , Chattanooga / March 04, 2021

Racism

social media

White, people lacking color

Ann S. , TN / March 04, 2021

Masks

Covid 19

China

Jasmine , TN / March 04, 2021

Not Getting Into College

Parents

Virtual Learning

Joseph G. , California / March 04, 2021

trump supporters

trump

white southerners

Savannah , tennessee / March 04, 2021

Too many illegal immigrants in the country

unbuilt wall on mexican border

Trump

AJ Vaughn , GA / March 04, 2021

WW2

Invasion of Poland

German People

Quincy Harvey , TN / March 04, 2021

covid19 vaccines

coronavirus

politicians/government

Kale , TN / March 04, 2021

Failing

Online learning

Teachers

Mudar A. , TN / March 04, 2021

Terrorists

9/11

Muslims

Mudar A. , TN / March 04, 2021

Gun violence

Shootings

Black people

Patrick C. , Chattanooga, TN / March 04, 2021

Being controlled by the government

Articles saying vaccines could have chips in them

The government

Carys , TN / March 04, 2021

Drug cartel

Trump

Hispanics

Gaby P , TN / March 04, 2021

Satanic Ritual Abuse

Sexual Abuse in Daycare Agencies

D&D Players

Brayden C. , TN / March 04, 2021

getting attacked by Pitbulls

Specific incidents

Pitbulls

Nathan , Chattanooga / March 04, 2021

predators

sexual harassment

old men

Tirzah , Chattanooga TN / March 04, 2021

Betrayal and communism

Hitler and war Propaganda

Jewish People

Aaron Merryman , TN / March 04, 2021

Rapists

Men being "entitled" to sex

Males

Cate Watkins , TN / March 04, 2021

Japanese Power

Pearl Harbor

Japanese Americans

Noah Wolfe , TN / March 04, 2021

Government Control

mental illness/allergies

Vaccines

Morgan , TN / March 04, 2021

Guns

School Shootings

Conservatives

Mason , TN / March 04, 2021

Pit bull attack

Abuse of pit bull

Ban pit bulls

Anonymous , N/A / March 04, 2021

Terrorists

9/11

Muslims

Mudar A. , TN / March 04, 2021

Beatles Breaking Up

Complications Between Beatles

Yoko Ono

Logan Martin , Chattanooga, TN. / March 04, 2021

being different

LGBTQ getting rights

LGBTQ

Madison McCoy , TN / March 04, 2021

covid

pandemic

china

Luna , TN / March 04, 2021

Climate Change

Carbon Emissions

Politicians

Chloe , TN / March 04, 2021

AIDS

Freddie Mercury dies

The entire gay community

Joey Elsrton , tennessee / March 04, 2021

Guns

Assassination

Lee Harvey Oswald

joey el;ston , Tennessee / March 04, 2021

No more jobs

Trump and media

Immigrants

Cai , TN / March 04, 2021

increasing crime rates

undocumented immigrants

racial profiling of illegal immigrants

Matthew , California / March 03, 2021

Bigoted White Women

Karens As All Women

Women Named Karen

Susan Miller , Albuquerque, NM / March 2021

Gun Violence

Teenagers Being Bullied

Video Games

Rob , Flushing, NY / March 2021

COVID-19

President Trump

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Audrey , Flushing, NY / March 2021

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

Infection

COVID-19

Hate Crimes Against Asian-Americans

Ally , New York, NY / February 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

Submit a Witch Hunt

Scapegoat
Example: for Massachusetts, put in MA