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

Difference and the Unknown

Violence and loss of economic resources

Immigrant Families

Irene S. , FL / June 2018

Loss of American Values

Election of Donald Trump

People Who Are Different

Mary Margaret D. , NY / June 2018

Losing AMerican Jobs

Donald Trump Election

Immigrants

Nessa C. , Ny / June 2018

Loss of Power/Influence

Trump

Immigrants

Nathalie P. , Canada / June 2018

Terrorism

9/11

Muslims

Jamina A. , PA / June 2018

Xenophobia

Trump

Immigrants

Henrique K. , Canada / June 2018

Terrorism

9/11

Arabic Community

Henrique K. , Canada / June 2018

Middle East

9/11

Persecution of Muslims

Javier , Puerto Rico / June 2018

Immigration and Economics

Donald Trump

Mexicans and Muslims

Janice S. , Canada / June 2018

Child Abuse

Gender-Neutral Bathrooms

The Trans and LGBTQ Community

Michelle W. , IN / June 2018

Criminality from Other Countries

Border Wall

Families Being Seperated

Mary L.A. , TX / June 2018

Economic Uncertainty

Populist Leader

Refugees and Immigrants

Ariel P. , TX / June 2018

More Immigrants

2017 Mexican Border Problem

Undocumented Immigrants

Jack M. A. , Canada / June 2018

Loss of White Identity

Immigration

The Wall

Chris H. , ID / June 2018

Fear of Islam

Radical Islamic Terrorism

All Muslim People

Clara , ID / June 2018

Being Poor

Economic Collapse

Jews

Steven S. , NY / June 2018

Job Loss and Culture Change

Donald Trump

Immigrants

Johanna Y. , CA / June 2018

Fear of Power Loss

Corrupt Democrats

Trump

John T. , ME / September 2019

The Hashemite Kingdom

1973 Yom Kippur War

West Bank Residents

Anonymous , NA / October 2019

Impurity

Hitler

Jews

Amanda , MD / October 2019

Release of Politically Damaging Information

Dictatorship and political establishments

Journalists

Ava , NJ / November 2019

Terrorism

The President

Immigrants and Refugees

Suzanne , MA / November 2019

Autism

Andrew Wakefield

Vaccinations

Giulia , MA / November 2019

Loss of Superiority

Bathroom Panic

Trans Women

Anonymous , NA / November 2019

Islam

9/11

Racial Attacks and Persecution of Arabs

Summer , AZ / November 2019

Change

Mass Immigration

Latinos/Muslims/Migrants

Ana L. S. , MA / November 2019

Immigration

Trump

Obama and Democrats

Dennis F. , NY / November 2019

The Unknown

9/11

Muslims

Casey , NY / November 2019

Satan-Influenced Christianity

Joseph Smith and the LDS Church

Missouri Extermination Order

Mark , TX / December 2019

Poverty/Unemployment

Poor Economy and Recession

Immigrants

Lauren , MA / December 2019

Immigration

President Donald Trump

Mexicans

Ana T. , TX / December 2019

Terrorism

9/11

Muslim Community

Marie H. , Canada / December 2019

Terrorism

9/11

Muslims

Mark S. , MA / December 2019

Terrorism/Xenophobia

9/11

Muslims

Hadjer L. , VA / December 2019

Unrestricted German Submarine Warfare

Inclusion of Germany in WWI

Discrimination and Suppression of German American Citizens

Elizabeth L. , NJ / December 2019

Immigration

Racism

Brown and Black People

Lauren , MA / January 2020

Russian Expansion

2016 Election Interference

Trump and His Associates

Jorean , TX / January 2020

Lack of Future Thinking

Trump

Immigrants (Good/Bad)

Melvin L. , MA / January 2020

Losing Jobs

Immigration

Asylum Seekers in Cages

Anonymous , NA / January 2020

Xenophobia

Great Oppression in Germany

Jewish People

Anonymous , NA / January 2020

Corona Virus

CDC/WHO

Chinese People

Sean S. , Singapore / January 2020

Unemployment

Donald Trump

Immigrants

Olivia M. , MA / January 2020

Jews and Non-WASPs

Hitler

People in Concentration Camps

Addie K. , MD / January 2020

Alleged Racism and Nazism

Trump

Black Listed Conservatism

Anonymous , NA / January 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

Women's Rights

Feminism

Women

Amanda A. , Costa Rica / December 2018

Xenophobia

Struggling Economy/Lack of faith in government

ICE detainment camps

Nicholas P. , GA / July 2018

Loss of resources from Middle East

9/11/2001

"Muslim Terrorist" Stereotype

Angelica , MA / July 2018

Cannabalism

Desire for Land

Indian Relocation to Reservations

Melodie D. , NA / August 2018

Inferiority and losing majority status

Trump Election

Non-Whites

Melanie W. , WA / August 2018

Immigration

Trump

Anyone non-white

Alanya P. , WI / August 2019

Terrorism

#45 President Trump

Immigrants

Laura H. , MD / August 2018

A Bad Economy

Immigrants

"Build a Wall"

Kristin C. , RI / February 2018

Criminalism

Trump

Immigrants

Anne H. , OH / November 2018

White People being a minority

Trump

Undocumented Immigrants

Olivia L. , NC / July 2018

Autism/Special Needs

Jenny McCarthy

Vaccines

Christine P. , VA / July 2018

Terrorism

Isis

Muslims

Ali S. , MA / August 2018

Food Poisoning and Animal Cruelty

Mistreatment of Animals and Sickness

Local Small Scale farmers wishing to raise sustained organic and ethical produce

Hamish C. , Canada / July 2018

Constitutional Checks and Balances

Running a foul of checks and balances

"Obama People"

Harriet B. , CT / October 2019

Drugs/Violence

Donald Trump

Immigrants

Jennifer , VA / October 2019

Loss of Jobs and American Culture

Donald Trump

Immigrants

Anonymous , NA / October 2019

Disease

Measles

Forced Vaccination

Tina B. , NY / November 2019

Not Having Enough

Trump and his base

Immigrants

Betsy , NJ / November 2019

Invasion

Gang Violence

Mexican-Americans/Immigrants

Mia P. , RI / November 2019

Failure of Social Systems

Violence and Unrest in the Streets

Homeless persons

Katrina , United Kingdom / November 2019

Economic Recession and Extradition Bill

Pro-Democracy Protesters in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Leaders and Police

Rodrick , IL / November 2019

Loss of Jobs/Community

Trump

Immigrants

Anonymous , NA / November 2019

Jews

Bad Government

Holocaust

Richard , NJ / November 2019

Old Industries Dying

Immigration from South America

Immigrants

Nana , Spain / December 2019

Terrorism

9/11

Muslims

Anonymous , NA / December 2019

Unemployment

Donald trump

Scapegoating of Immigrants

Anonymous , NA / December 2019

Jews

Hitler

Holocaust

Tais , Israel / December 2019

Rapists and Drug Dealers

Donald Trump

Illegal Aliens in Prison Camp

Alyn , NY / September 2019

Terrorism

Donald Trump

Immigrants

Kelly , PA / August 2019

Immigration

Trump

"The Wall"

Anonymous , NA / September 2019

Terrorism

9/11

South Asians and Pakistanis

Lexie L. , AL / August 2019

Terrorism

9/11

Muslims

Elixabete A. B. , Spain / August 2019

Terrorism

9/11/01

Muslim Community

Robert , NY / September 2019

Middle East

9/11

Muslims

Neil , Ireland / September 2019

Refugees

Asylum Seekers

Trump and Scott Morrison(Australian Prime Minister) as Persecutors

H.J. B. , Australia / January 2020

Fear of Conservatism and Personal Responsibility

2016 Election

President Trump

Douglas N. , CT / January 2020

Russia

Donald Trump Elected President

"Trump is a Russian Asset"

Jack , TX / January 2020

Terrorism

Increased fanaticism

People of Faith

Wendy , RI / January 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

Pit Bull Violence

Attacks and Rough Play

Pitt Bulls Banned in Certain States

Madison H. , MA / December 2019

Overpopulation

Election of Donald Trump

The Wall

Larrian M. , TX / December 2019

Radical Islam

9/11

Arabic People

April A. , MA / December 2019

Crime (drugs, gangs and rape)

Mass Immigration from Mexico and Central America

Immigrants from these countries

Erin , NJ / July 2019

Islamic Extremists

9/11

Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria

Craig S. , Canada / July 2019

High Unemployment

Influx of Illegal Immigrants

Mexican-American Immigrants

Luke , TX / July 2019

Nazism

Democrats

Trump Supporters

Omar O. , FL / July 2019

Islamic Terrorists

9/11

Muslim Americans

Brady , FL / July 2019

Invasion and Economic Instability

Trump

Immigrants and Minorities

Natalie , NY / July 2019

Immigration

Job Losses

Immigrants

Hope , MA / July 2019

Immigration

Trump

Discrimination Against People of Color

Yuiko , MA / July 2019

Immigration

Job Loss

Mexicans

Joseph , PA / July 2019

Terrorism

9/11

Arab Males

Kirk , MO / July 2019

Islam

9/11

Muslims

Erin , NJ / July 2019

Immigrants

Donald Trump

Separation of Internment of families and children

Norman D. , MA / July 2019

Terrorism

9/11

Muslims

Shawna M. , Canada / July 2019

Jews

Hitler

Holocaust

Joshua F. C. , CA / July 2019

Loss of Ethnic Homogenuity

Loss of Jobs

Immigrants

Maria P. , TN / July 2019

Fear of Immigrants

Trump

Children in cages separated from their families

Rachel , MI / July 2019

Muslims

Miseducation/ Politics

Muslim-Americans

Omar , CT / July 2019

Decreasing Industrialization

Trump

Immigrants

Pearl , Canada / July 2019

Losing a Christian America

9/11

Muslims

Jasmine , MA / July 2019

The New England Patriots

Ryan Grigson's Misunderstanding of Science

Tom Brady

Michael K. , MA / July 2019

Losing Jobs/Disease

Trump's Words

Mexicans/Other Immigrants

Nava Simon , NY / July 2019

Loss of Jobs/Poor Economy

Government

Immigrants

Kendal L. , NY / July 2019

A New Civil War

Fake News

Conservatives

Anonymous , NA / July 2019

Tom Brady

Victories

New England Patriots

Annie , MO / July 2019

Guns

Parkland Shooting

NRA

Gary M. , RI / August 2018

"The Enemy"

9/11 Attacks in NY

Muslims/Arabs

Hamish C. , Canada / July 2018

Gun Violence

School Shootings

Video Games

Nicholas Wayne G. , MA / August 2018

Joblessness

Economic Downturn

Immigrants

Lorelei C. , NC / July 2018

Different Points of View, Diversity and Immigrants

Trump, The Wall, and Republicans

Family Separation of Immigrants

Adriana F. , MA / August 2018

Immigrants

Trump

Family Seperation

Alice S. A. , Rio de Janeiro / August 2018

Immigrants

Donald Trump

Non-Whites

Elizabeth F. , CT / July 2018

Wealth/Power

Illegal Immigration

Donald Trump

Keith M. , CA / June 2018

Enforcement of Immigration Laws

Lawful Election

Donald Trump

Marc L. , RI / August 2018

Republican Supreme Court Justice

Me Too Movement

Kavanaugh Trial

Denise T. , LA / October 2018

Xenophobia

Donald Trump

Undocumented Immigrants

Lynn D. P. , MI / August 2018

Crime and Sex trafficking

Trump's Election

Millions of South and Central Americans being put in "internment camps"

Naygen G. , NY / August 2019

African Americans

Police Department

Minorities Losing Lives

Gordon D. , NY / August 2019

Immigrants

Trump

Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Anonymous , WA / August 2019

Terrorism

9/11

Muslim Community

Alex , CA / August 2019

Un-Americanism

Trump

Migrants

Daniela , CO / August 2019

Loss of Wealth/Capitalism

Immigration

Mexican Immigrants

Allison K. , MO / August 2019

Loss of Income/Jobs

Trump

Immigrants

Tod , MA / August 2019

Immigrants

"Caravan Invasion"

Latinos

Lia R. , NJ / August 2019

Xenophobia

Trump

Immigrants

Michael , CA / August 2019

Being Replaced

Trump

Immigrants

Gabby , OH / August 2019

Immigrants

9/11

Islamophobia

Noor , Lebanon / August 2019

Economic Instability

Donald Trump

Immigrants

Alex M. , IL / August 2019

"Super Predators"

Politicians (Clintons)

Policing of black youth

Chrystina , GA / August 2019

Change

Trump

Immigrants

Rhonda , MN / August 2019

Economic Destabilization

Several Concurrent and Careless Administrations

Immigrants (especially People of Color)

Cooper , CA / August 2019

Losing "good ole America"

Institutional Racism

Literally anyone of Color

Brittany , CA / August 2019

Immigrants

Trump and White Nationalism

Hispanic Populations

Monica , PA / August 2019

New Technology

Shootings

Violent Video Games

Frank , NJ / August 2019

Immigrants and Immigration

Trump

Hispanic/Latino Community

Valerie G. , TX / August 2019

Loss of American Privileges

2016 Election

"Illegal" Immigrants in Camps

Jess , NY / August 2019

Nationalism and Racism

Election of Donald Trump

Persecution of Immigrants, Minorities, and the Poor

Julia , IL / August 2019

Terrorism

9/11

Muslim Community

Esha , CA / August 2019

Terrorism

9/11

Muslims

Marissa , NJ / August 2019

German Fall from Grace and Descending into Poverty

Hitler

Jews and Non-German Persecution

Ilana , NJ / August 2019

Job Loss and Marginalization of White Men

Trump

Immigrants and women and LGBTQ+)

Laura , CT / August 2019

Terrorist Attacks

9/11/2001

Muslim Americans

Autumn , WV / August 2019

Loss of National Identity

Trump

Immigrants

Alice L. , United Kingdom / August 2019

Loss of Privilege

Trump

Women

Chris A. , CA / August 2019

Economic Hardship

Trump

Immigrants

Chris A. , CA / August 2019

Economic Hardship

Hitler

Jews

Chris A. , CA / August 2019

Loss of Economic Power

U=Influx of families at Southern Border

People from South and Central America

Chris , TX / August 2019

Failing Economy

Exaggerated Media Coverage

Hispanic and Latinx Immigrants

Jasmin P. , NJ / August 2019

White Supremacy

Trump

Immigrant Children in Concentration Camps in 2019

Sarah , Canada / August 2019

Economic Downturn

Donald Trump

Immigrants

Laura , MD / August 2019

Terrorism and the Trade Center Bombings

Trump

Muslim Travel Ban and Anti-Muslim Attitudes

David S. , NY / August 2019

Invasion & Terrorism

Trump

"All Latinos Are Bad"

David S. , NY / August 2019

Loss of White Supremacy

Trump

22 people (Hispanics) Killed in El Paso

Maryann , AT / August 2019

Immigrants

Make America Great Again

Border Camps and Visa Rejections

Bonnie Kay B. , TX / October 6

USA Big Pharma

Opioid Epidemic

Healthcare Professionals

Taylor , PA / October 2019

Invasion

Migration

Caged Latinx

Brian D. , CA / October 2019

Loss of Power

2016 Election of Trump

Russian Hoax and Ukraine Hoax to Persecute Trump

Dennis H. , FL / October 2019

Terrorism

Election of Trump

Immigrants on Southern Border

Toby , MA / October 2019

Loss of Democratic Control

Impeachment Hearings

Donald J. Trump

Adam S. , CA / October 2019

US Instability

Democrats

Trump

Frank C. , NY / October 2019

Disease

Measles

Anti-Vaccinators

Terry B. , NY / October 2019

Lack of Resources

Trump

Refugees and Immigrants at the border

Kara , MA / October 2019

Loss of Power

Changing Demographics

Immigrants

Douglas B. , MD / August 2018

Russia

Donald Trump

Political Hysteria

Vivian G. , NH / August 2018

Polish Freedom

Economy

Iron Curtain

Natalia , Poland / October 2018

Unpure Race

Jewish People

Holocaust

Natalia , Poland / October 2018

Women being assaulted

Kevin Spacey, Woody Allen, Donald Trump

"Any Man Who Flirts is a Predator"

D. Leff , NJ / July 2018

"The Other"/ Immigrants

Trump/Media

Children kept in cages

Nicole H. , NH / July 2018

Job Loss

Trump

Immigrants

R. Soto , NJ / July 2018

Terrorism

September 11

Muslims

Sam Roth , CA / July 2018

Failing Economy in Germany

Hitler

Jews

Jenn V. F. , Canada / July 2019

Drugs/Crime

Donald Trump

Black Lives Matter Movement

Nathan Pipes , MO / July 2018

Drugs/Crime

Donald Trump

Mexican Immigrants

Nathan P. , MO / July 2018

Dog Bites/Attacks

New and Sensational Media

Breed Specific Legislation

Lily F. , CA / July 2018

Terrorism

Trump Era

Refugees

Carolyn T. , MD / December 2018

Invading America

Trump's Candidacy

Immigrants

Gail R. , TX / December 2018

Terrorism

9/11

Islamophobia/Muslims

Kathryn B. , CA / June 2017

Immigration

The GOP

Kids in Cages

Ashley , CO / September 2019

White Replacement

Trump

Immigrants

Lynn D. , ME / November 2019

Immigrants

President Trump

Kids in Cages

Jackie , NJ / November 2019

Terrorism

9/11

Innocent People on Terror Watchlists

Eric , NY / May 2019

Economic Uncertainty

Shifting Cultural Makeup

Immigrants

Aaron , OK / May 2019

Economic Loss

Immigration

Muslims/Mexicans

Sarah , MN / May 2019

Terrorism

9/11

Muslims

Cosmo , NJ / May 2019

Anti-Antisemitism

Hitler

Jews

Sharon , MA / May 2019

Foreigners

9/11 Attacks

Muslims

Greg , MA / May 2019

Xenophobia

Donald Trump

Undocumented Immigrants

Lynn D. , MI / August 2018

Submit a Witch Hunt

Scapegoat
Example: for Massachusetts, put in MA