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

school shootings

guns

the right to bare arms

Sarah , CA / February 04, 2023

losing money

shortages

bitcoin

Bob , MA / February 2023

being gay

seing gay people

gay people

Anonymous , America / February 03, 2023

climate change

increased amount of litter

homeless population

Jane , MA / January 29, 2023

fear of not being right/ having to agree with an opposite

political stereotypes

calling everybody an extremist

Anonymous , MA / January 22, 2023

Gun Violence

School Shootings

Guns

Courtney , Clendenin, WV / January 15, 2023

being controlled

britain taxing america

tax collectors

Anonymous , America / January 09, 2023

Exposure

Pending Legal Matters

Donald J. Trump

Anonymous , Saint Louis / January 06, 2023

Child Rapist

Right Wing Media

Queer people

Anonymous , NV / January 04, 2023

The Unknown

New Viruses

Bodily Self-determination

Anonymous , Kalamazoo, MI / January 03, 2023

Bombings

9/11

Muslim people

JT , NY / January 03, 2023

Insanity and suspicion of evil

Lack of knowledge on mental diseases

People with mental disease

Anonymous , International / January 03, 2023

sports team losing

someone not playing perfectly

that player

Ethan , MA / January 03, 2023

COVID

CDC

Doctors and Others Who Doubt

Neysa , CA / December 2022

protest

Poutine

Independent Russian newspapers

Camille , France / December 28, 2022

Infection

Monkey Pox

Gay Community

Megan , Singapore / December 2022

Losing White Privilege/Status

QAnon and Trump

Jews

Zoey , IL / December 2022

Quaran's Tyrrany

People following the Quaran and commiting atrocities

"Islam is Peaceful"

Abbu , VA / December 20, 2022

Immigrants "Corrupting" America

Trump/Racism

Hispanic

Derek , Colton, WA / December 20, 2022

Voicing an Opinion

Cancel Culture

Person voicing an opinion

Jon , UT / December 18, 2022

loss of control of women

abortion

women

Sheyla and Lexsi , California / December 16, 2022

Loss Control of Women

Abortion

Black Women

Anjum , Ca / December 13, 2022

police brutality

george floyds death

police being targeted

Anonymous , MN / December 13, 2022

Contracting HIV/AIDS

People not understanding the illness

Gay community

Addy , VT / December 13, 2022

Loss Of Control Of Women

Abortion

Women

Sheyla , Lexsi, CA / December 13, 2022

Gun Violence

Guns

Mental Illness

Maria , AM / December 12, 2022

birth rights

converatism

women

Isabella , Massachussets / December 12, 2022

hell

organized religion

anyone who doesn't go to church

Kaydiana , CA / December 12, 2022

School shootings

guns

The right to keep and bare arms

Sarah , California / December 10, 2022

Sickness

AIDS Outbreak

LGBTQ+

Mack , VT / December 09, 2022

Hell

Organized religion

anyone who doesn't go to church

Jenni , CA / December 08, 2022

Police brutality

George Floyd’s Death

Police Being Targeted

Anonymous , MN / December 07, 2022

Illness

Xenopobia

Asian Americans

QS , MA / December 06, 2022

fear of discrimination

George Floyd

policeman being looked as bad

Anonymous , d / December 06, 2022

Being possessed by the devil

Witch accusation

the accused

June , GA / December 06, 2022

Birth Rights

Conservatism

Women

Isabella , MA / December 06, 2022

Getting hurt

someone getting choked

police brutality

mike , Ma / December 05, 2022

Covid

Shutdown

Asians

Roscoe , Wasco high / December 05, 2022

Youth Becoming less social due to Technology

Covid-19/Online Learning

Phones

Noah , CA / December 05, 2022

loss of control of women

abortion

women

lexsi , CA / December 02, 2022

Immigrants "corrupting" america

Trump/Racism

Hispanic/Mexican People

Colton , WA / December 01, 2022

Bad Luck

Superstition

Animals who need to be adopted and loved, suffering because of people's superstitions

Aster , WA / December 01, 2022

Terrorism

9/11

Indians/indian americans

Anonymous , WA / December 01, 2022

Losing control over women

Women removing hijabs

Capitalist and Western Countries

Amber , Iran / December 01, 2022

youth becoming less social due to technology

covid-19/remote learning

phones

Sophia , USA / November 30, 2022

Getting hurt

Someone getting choked

Police Brutality

Mel , Ma / November 30, 2022

scared

how the girls acted

tituba

Alana , Massachusetts / November 30, 2022

mental helath

feeling overwhelmed

belief of being a threat and violent to society

Anonymous , Ca / November 30, 2022

Voter fraud

Federal Elections

Voting Machines/Poll Station Staff

Tod , WA / November 29, 2022

Sports team losing

Someone not playing perfectly

That player

Ethan , Il / November 26, 2022

Drogues et enfants confus

Une montée de la criminalité

Production Disney

Romy , MA / November 24, 2022

Zero Covid Policies, Party Oppression

Fire in Urumqi

Chinese Communist Party

West , Seattle, WA / November 23, 2022

Hell

Organized Religion

Anyone Who Doesn't Go To Church

Travis , PA / November 22, 2022

Covid

It Starting In China

Asians Being Blamed

Tanner , United States / November 22, 2022

Lack of Attention by the Accusers

Seeking/Wanting Attention/Spotlight

Anyone in Salem

Shelley , MA / November 21, 2022

infection

covid-19

china

Avah , nd / November 21, 2022

police brutality

george floyd's death

police being targeted

Nathan, Patrick, Tyler , Millbury MA / November 20, 2022

Birth Rights

Conservatism

Woman

Isabella , MA / November 20, 2022

Ruining Kids Minds

Social Media

Books

Krusha , Chicago / November 19, 2022

women in power

women not wearing hijabs

murdering and imprisoning women

tiffany, victoria, and chelsea , Massachusetts / November 18, 2022

Moral Decline

Satanic Panic

Daycare Workers

Kasey , St. Louis, MO / November 17, 2022

Men

Being attacked

Woman

Paige , IA / November 17, 2022

Infection

Covid 19

China

Sylvia , MA / November 2022

gun violence

guns

mental illness

Amare , usa / November 17, 2022

Covid

1st cases in china

Asian hate

Aieden and Anthony , Massachusetts / November 16, 2022

Satanic Ritual Abuse

Therapists

Parents

Key , MA / November 16, 2022

Judaism

Celebrities careless actions on social media

Jewish People

M.L. , MA / November 15, 2022

Fear of Police officers

BLM Protests / George Floyd

Attacked Police Officers

Samantha , Massachusetts / November 15, 2022

Birth Rights

Conservatism

woman

Isabella , Massachusetts / November 15, 2022

Death from covid

Source of Covid

Discrimination against Chinese and Asians

Cadence , Massachusetts / November 14, 2022

women in power

muslim women without hijabs

murdering and imprisoning women

Reilly, Sophia, Soleil , MA / November 14, 2022

Not Belonging

Politics

LGBTQ

Nathan , MA / November 14, 2022

War

Biden

Trump

George , MA / November 14, 2022

homeless are not morally good

rise in crime

violence towards them

Victoria , MA / November 14, 2022

Election Fraud

Donald Trump's Accusations

Election Officials, Staff, and Volunteers

Mary Ann , CO / November 2022

Degradation of USA Economy

Inequity of Tax Systems

Immigrants and the Poor

Mary Ann , CO / November 2022

Covid 19

Conspiracy Theory

Chinese People

Tom , CO / November 2022

Jewish People (Not pure enough blood)

Hitler

Concentration Camps/Death/Anti-Jewish

Naomi , CA / November 2022

That jewish people would be sucessful without them

during the first world war, the german army command spread the myth that jewish people and communists were working together against them.

Jewish people

Meredith and Mackenzie , MA / November 10, 2022

Past news

Being Targeted

Women

Abigail , MA / November 10, 2022

Being targeted

Alone in a public space

Woman

Tyler , MA / November 10, 2022

911

death from plane crash

Islamic people hate

Anonymous , New York / November 09, 2022

Spies

Pearl harbor

Japanese Americans

Anonymous , United States / November 09, 2022

Gun Control

School Shootings

Doors

Bob , CA / November 09, 2022

LGBTQ+ Indoctrination

LGBTQ+ Tolerance

Teachers

Sonya , IL / November 09, 2022

School Shootings

Columbine

Violence in Movies

Anonymous , MA / November 09, 2022

Jewish Beliefs/People

Celebrities (Kanye and Kyrie Irving)

Normalizing Antisemeticism/Anti-Jewish Behavior

Calvin , MA / November 09, 2022

School Shootings

Columbine

Violence in Movies

Solo , MA / November 09, 2022

police burtality

BLM Protests / George Floyd

police officers

Samantha , Massachusetts / November 09, 2022

Dying Alone

Anxiety

Society

Corissa , Norwalk Ct / November 08, 2022

Devil Worship

Popularity or Harry Potter books

All the children of the world

Zeke , AR / November 07, 2022

drugs and confused children

a rise in crime

Disney productions.

Rickie , Salem Massachusetts / November 07, 2022

Hell

Organized religion

Anyone who doesn't go to church

Travis Oliver , Pennsylvania / November 06, 2022

Violence and death

Recent rise in homicides

People who play violent games

Jacob , IL / November 05, 2022

ghosts

ghostbusters

Bill murray

Milan , Nashua / November 04, 2022

Russia losing power to get Ukraine to NATO

Russia wanting to "demilitarisation and denazification" Ukraine

Ukrainian Civilians and Ukrainian Government

Morgan , NH / November 03, 2022

Putin

Russia invading Ukraine

People of Russian Ancestry/Origin/Ethnicity/Nationality

Snow , Worldwide / November 03, 2022

woman having anatomy

controlling men in power

Roe V. wade

Roe , CA / November 03, 2022

Which craft

udge Jonathan Corwin

Women

Bridget , Salem, MA / November 01, 2022

hitler

germany looses ww1

jewish citizens

Sandy , PA / November 01, 2022

Jewish Indoctrination

Anti-Semitism

Israel

Anonymous , IC / November 01, 2022

COVID

It Starting In China

Asians Being Blamed

Tanner , United States / October 31, 2022

loss of human rights

roe v. wade being overturned

women

MJ , VA / October 28, 2022

The end of world

Inconsideration of the climate change

People of earth

Anonymous , Wales, UK / October 28, 2022

nuclear weapons/power

Chornobyl

Nuclear power plants

Anonymous , SD / October 27, 2022

witches

children screaming

many innocent people

Anonymous , Salem MA / October 26, 2022

COVID19

Mass Hysteria by Media

Non-Vaxxed or Hesitant

Hunter , MD / October

Accountability

Unknown

Boston Youth Action Board

Anonymous , Boston, MA / October 21, 2022

being wrong

politics

the other side

Anonymous , earth / October 20, 2022

Illness

Covid-19

People who choose not to be vaccinated

Molly Thompson , NH / October 18, 2022

People

homophobia/racism/sexism/etc.

Toxic WHITE people

Ben , NY / October 18, 2022

Devils

Rebellious Children

Dungeons and Dragons

Leila , CA / October 17, 2022

Dying Alone

Anxiety

Society

Lexsi , MA / October 17, 2022

immigrants taking "American Jobs"

Trump

The Hispanic community.

Anonymous , US / October 17, 2022

College Acceptance

Society's Pressure

Collegeboard

Anonymous , IL / October 17, 2022

LGBTQ+ Indoctrination

LGBTQ+ Representation

School Teachers

Amber , Florida / October 17, 2022

Nuclear Weapons/ Power

Chornobyl

Nuclear Power Plants

Matthew , SD / October 16, 2022

Democrat leadership exposed for living above the law

January 6 th trespassing

Donald trump and patriotic Americans

Doreen , New your city / October 15, 2022

witch

unknown

African American

Anonymous , LA / October 14, 2022

Musical Regression

Awful songs on the radio

Nickelback

Anonymous , United States / October 11, 2022

Nuclear Weapons/ Power

Chornobyl

Nuclear Power Plants

Random Person , SD / October 07, 2022

Illness

Pandemic

Africans

Anonymous , Africans / October 06, 2022

Japan

Pearl Harbor

Gay community

Mike , MD / October 06, 2022

Loss of personal freedoms

Mask mandates

Medical professionals trying to prevent the spread of illness

Lisa , IA / October 06, 2022

Diease

Monkey Pox

Gay Men / People

Nick , CA / October 05, 2022

Infection

COVID

People with COVID

Anonymous , The world / October 05, 2022

Monkeys

Gordy

Monkeys are Evil

Burger , New York / October 04, 2022

COVID

1st Cases in China

Asian Hate Crimes

Elizabeth , NV / October 2022

War

Biden

Trump

Dee , Arizona / October 03, 2022

Terror at school

Loners

World of Warcraft

Marjory , Parkland, FL / October 01, 2022

Having an unwanted pregnancy

Supreme Court Reverses Roe Vs Wade

White Men

Anonymous , Everywhere / September 28, 2022

Not strong enough gun laws

School Shootings

Losing human rights

Kianna , TN / September 28, 2022

hitlers reign

german loss of ww1

jews

Anonymous , Germany / September 27, 2022

Being inadequate & facing insecurities/traumas in interpersonal relationships

A sex worker having healthy personal boundaries and relationships

“You’re a whore what do you know about love and boundaries”

Anonymous , Hollywood, Ca / September 26, 2022

Covid-19 Pandemic

Liberal Media

Trump

Roger , USA / September 23, 2022

Losing White Power

BLM Movement

Black People

SJ , TX / September 20, 2022

loosing my rights

overturning of Roe v. Wade

Republicans

Jenelle , NY / September 19, 2022

devils

rebellious children

dungeons and dragons

lucas , OR / September 18, 2022

Black people getting killed by white cops

Riots

Extreme Leftist

Kianna , TN / September 17, 2022

Capitalism

Trump Derangement Sydonrome

Over 70 Million Americans

Maria , MA / September 2022

getting kidnapped

walking at night

homeless people

Alice , Armada, Mi / September 14, 2022

Good Music

Country Rap

North Woods Outlaws

J , Maine / September 13, 2022

dying alone

anxiety

society

David , MD / September 09, 2022

Penn State's football record

Penn State loses

Blame Sean Clifford

Sean , State College / September 08, 2022

PSU losing

Iowa

Sean Clifford

Carson , PA / September 08, 2022

jewish world domination

economical crisis

jews

Sophie , Germany / September 07, 2022

Bad American Economy

Trump

Immigrants and Minority Groups

Abigail , CA / September 05, 2022

COVID

Started in China

Asian Americans/Asian Citizens

Alfred , KY / September 2022

RACISM & Anti- ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION LAWS (Deportation & Family separation)

MAGA movement, Surge of conservatism, Religious rights, Strict immigration laws

Donald Trump Russian Collusion (A complete Hoax)

Waui , Manila, Philippines / August 31, 2022

RACISM & PREJUDICE

Police mistreatment of suspects/arrest brutality/ overkill

Blame Donald trump

Waui , Detroit, Michigan / August 30, 2022

Donald Trump

Drain The Swamp

January 6 Insurrection

Christopher , Michigan / August 30, 2022

COVID

It Starting In China

Asians Being Blamed

Bridget , MA / August 2022

Loss of American Identity

Trump

People of Color/Anyone Not Christian

William , NE / August 2022

White People Losing Control

Trump

POC, Gays, Not Christians

Marie , MA / August 2022

Loss of American Pride

Trump

People of Color, Gay People, Anyone Not Christian

Janet , NE / August 2022

Disease

Monkey Pox

Gay Men / People

Taylor , CA / August 2022

Immigrants

Economic Anxiety

Deportation and kids in cages

Alyssa , Tx / August 30, 2022

Covid

Death

Unvacinated

Anonymous , MA / August 2022

Desegregation

Ruby Bridges

Black Students

Noah , ME / August 2022

Car accidents

DUI

Trauma

Lina , CA / August 25, 2022

Devil

Rebellious Children in the 80's

Dungeons & Dragons

Dakota , FL / August 2022

Nation's Identity

Trump

Anyone Not White or Christian

LouAnn , CA / August 2022

Free Speech

Close Minds

Cancel Culture

Lee , OH / August 2022

Trump

Conspiracy

Political Division

Beth , MA / August 2022

Loss of status or privilege

Teaching actual history (“CRT”) and increasing diversity, equity and inclusion training/education

“Woke and Extreme” liberals

Emily , Northern Virginia / August 16, 2022

Illness

Covid

Chinese or Asian Americans

Molly , Northbrook, IL / August 10, 2022

Human trafficking

Internet

Innocent people walking through target

Kristen , CA / August 07, 2022

Terrorism

9/11

Islamophobia

Anonymous , MA / July 2022

Fear of What Isn't Understood

Right Wing Media

Transgender People

Keith , NY / July 2022

Immigrants

Economic Anxiety/Racism/Xenophobia

Deportation and Kids In Cages

Anonymous , MA / July 2022

Infection

COVID

People With COVID

Tim , Australia / July 2022

Germany's Diminishing Power

WWII

Jewish People

Sarabeth , Newark, Delaware / July 2022

Increased Gas Prices

Trump Followers

Joe Biden

Christie , FL / July 2022

Terrorists

9/11

Muslims, Arabs, Brown People

Anonymous , MA / July 2022

Terrorists

9/11

Muslim

Aran , Saudi Arabia / July 2022

Rationality/Civility/Common Sense

"Woke" Ideology

Conservatism

Andy , MA / July 2022

Infection

Covid-19

Chinese American Abuse and Harassment

Izzy , Cardiff, Wales / July 2022

Infection

Covid-19

Unvaccinated

Jose , Las Vegas, NV / July 2022

Infection

Covid 19

Asian Community

Logan , TX / July 2022

Loss of Control of Women

Abortion

Black Women

Anjum , CA / July 2022

Immigration

Trump

All Non Americans

Lisa , Louisville, KY / July 2022

Heterosexual

marriage between man and woman

Christians

Su Amen , Missouri / July 07, 2022

Terrorists

9/11

Muslims

Bianka , ID / July 2022

That the person is going to eat all the food, that they are worthless and undiciplined

being different

Tammy and others

Tammy G , IL / July 05, 2022

drowing

water

sun

Gigi , new jersey / July 05, 2022

Male Ineptitude

Independent Women

Women Out of Their League

Caitlin , Pittsburgh, PA / July 2022

Being Alone

Being Afraid

Bullying

Vivian , NH / June 2022

Gun Control

School Shootings

Doors

Bob , CA / July 01, 2022

Supreme Court Decisions

Removing Roe vs. Wade

Women Trying to Protect Women's Health

Ines K. , MA / June 2022

Liberals

Media

Joe Biden

Emma , MM / June 26, 2022

Non Christian Faiths

Abortion

Overturned Roe v. Wade, removing constitutional rights of women and girls.

GS , Ohio / June 26, 2022

COVID-19

Lab Wuhan China

Asians Worldwide

Michele , NJ / June 2022

Russia and Russian People

the spread of Russophobia

Russian People

Lisa , RU / June 24, 2022

Officials feared that the truth regurding rapes in PA would come to the public's attention. This includes the political affiliation and job title of the perpetrators and the intentional destruction of forensic evidence.

Officials became aware that the victims were seeking help after being threatened to stay silent.

Multiple rape victims.

Anonymous , PA / June 24, 2022

Eroding Right-Wing Values

Growing Trans Awareness

Trans People Panic

Grace , OK / June 2022

COVID-19 Pandemic

New of COVID from China

Asian Hate

Aunama , Honolulu, HI / June 2022

Being blamed and unloved. Viewed as incompetent/undervalued/useless/worthless.

PTSD/Current Situation/Traumatic Events/Self-Medicating

People I care about/friends/family/coworkers who I unfairly and regretfully targeted and made uncomfortable.

Karen M. , MA / June 15, 2022

Trump

January 6th Protest

Thousands Imprisoned for Minor Offenses

Marco , CA / June 2022

Infection

Covid19

Chinese

Anonymous , MA / June 2022

non christian faiths

9/11

muslims

Jeo , virginia / June 02, 2022

Submit a Witch Hunt

Scapegoat
Example: for Massachusetts, put in MA