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

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

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

Less Disposable Income

Record High Inflation

Political Leadership

AJ , Hillsboro, MO / May 2022

Women Having Autonomy

Controlling Men in Power

Roe v. Wade

Anonymous , MA / May 2022

Feminist Movement

Patriarchy

Deviant Women

Eleni , Mesilla, NM / May 2022

amber heard

divorce

johnny depp

Kessie , france / May 30, 2022

Satan

Pentagram

Astronomy Symbols (note: NOT astrology)

Josh , MA / May 29, 2022

Transgender people

Seeing any trans person

“Trans panic” defense

Ash , Everywhere / May 28, 2022

Non-Christian Faiths

9/11

Muslims

Eva , Southlake, TX / May 17, 2022

Spread of Communism, loss of US democracy

Alleged perpetrators according to Sen Joseph McCarthy

Persons with real or unproven Communist sympathies, and their acquaintances

Thomas , TX / May 17, 2022

Instability of Careers Since 2008

Fascist Fear Mongering About BLM

Academics, Teachers, Librarians

Amelie , Murfreesboro, TN / May 2022

God/Religion

Greg Abbott

Parents of Trans Kids (Being Investigated)

Savannah , Houston, TX / May 2022

Dissolution of Patriarchy/Gender Norms

Non-Intersectional Feminists

Fear of Trans People

Mina , Nashville, TN / May 2022

COVID

Shutdown

Asians

Lane , Atlanta, GA / May 2022

poverty

Hitler

Jews

Kylie , MA / May 12, 2022

Islamist Terrorism

9/11

Muslims/Islamophobia

Siwi , OK / May 03, 2022

Death

Confrontation with Religion

Christians

Molly , CA / May 02, 2022

Stolen Election

Trump Lost

Black Communities

JW , CA / May 2022

Losing Political Control

American People Waking Up to The Politacal Reality

Trump

Anonymous , Washington State / April 25, 2022

Liberia

Mao Zedong

Assassination of JFK

Phil , pittsburgh / April 25, 2022

The Other

Trump

Immigrants

Donna , NH / April 2022

Misinformation

Donald Trump

Media

Carolyn , MA / April 2022

Sickness

Covid-19

Hatred Against Asians in USA

Nina , Denmark / April 2022

People being in charge who spread hate.

Fox News

Free thinking people.

Hillary , NY / April 22, 2022

Going Blind

The Sun

Solar Eclipse

Anonymous , MA / April 22, 2022

A student getting a bad grade

Parent/s Going to School Board

Teachers

Anonymous , MI / April 21, 2022

Falling Living Standards

Right Wing Culture War

Resurgence in Homophobia and Transphobia

Fintan , April 2022 / April 2022

Decline of the Ottomans

Government

Armenians

Trevor , CA / April 2022

People being different

People being proud of who they are

Social Media

Anonymous , IN / April 19, 2022

Infection

COVID

Asian Americans

Anonymous , MA / April 2022

Iron Maiden

Devil Album

Satanic Worship

Ian , CT / April 2022

Ukraine’s power and inderpendence

Mentally Ill Russian President

Ukrainian children

Andrea , Canada / April 13, 2022

Immagrants stealing jobs

2016 election

Imagrants

Caroline , Atlanta GA / April 08, 2022

Police Brutality

George Floyd Murder

White Race Persecution

Andy , WA / April 2022

Magie

Les sorcière cherche la paix

Sorcière

Morgane , USA / April 06, 2022

Truth

Election

Trump

Max , IA / April 04, 2022

Unexplained Happenings

Bad Luck

Black Cats

Tiana , NY / April 04, 2022

Infection

Covid

China

Jennie , IL / April 2022

9/11

Xenophobia

Muslims

Anonymous , MA / April 2022

Communism

Attempted Coup in 1965

Indonesian People

Anonymous , MA / April 2022

Virus

Covid

Unvaccinated

Lorraine , NJ / April 2022

I can't drive my car

gas prices

Ukraine

Andreina , Allentown, PA / March 29, 2022

Gen Z being gay

homophobes

social media

Grace , NY / March 26, 2022

Italian Americans and Anarchists

Anti-Immigration and Italian Sentiments

Sacco and Vanzetti

Dolores , Hampton, NH / March 2022

COVID-19

Chinese Origin

Asian American Hate

Jed , CA / March 2022

gun violence

shooting

black community

Anonymous , Nevada / March 24, 2022

A parent having an "average" child athlete

Child not getting playing time

The Coach

Carrie , Connecticut / March 16, 2022

sexuality

people changing their sexuality

women

Jay , ma / March 14, 2022

Bible/God's Word

Love of Sin

Obedient believers

K , TN / March 12, 2022

being fat/fatphobia

body positivity movement

fat people

Whitney , CA / March 10, 2022

Earth is Flat

Inability to think logically

The government

Jake , CA / March 10, 2022

Rumbling

Subjects of Ymir

Discrimination against all Eldians

David , Paradis / March 10, 2022

white people

guns

anti 2nd amendment

Anonymous , CA / March 10, 2022

Having rights taken away

biggots

people trying to live

Anonymous , texas / March 09, 2022

COVID

Freedom

Science

Anonymous , MA / March 2022

School Shootings

Recent News/Articles

Gamers

Anonymous , LA / March 03, 2022

Falling off tall heights

People dying from tall heights

Tall Buildings with less safety precautions

Thanh , LA / March 03, 2022

Death

covid-19

antivaxxers

Bob , MA / March 03, 2022

Learning bad

Bad score

Games are bad

Jimmy , NY / March 03, 2022

Lawlessness

Communism

Left-leaning US citizens

Anono , FL / March 03, 2022

climate change

crazy weather

everyone

Li , Los Angeles / March 03, 2022

sexual harassment

me too movement

feminists

Anonymous , MA / March 03, 2022

Covid

Number of cases

People

Felix , India / March 03, 2022

Death

COVID-19

Asians

Deanna , NY / March 2022

War

Vladimir Putin

Ukraine

Tracey , WA / March 02, 2022

Ukraine-Russia War

Russian Superpower

Russian President

Kingsley , CA / February 28, 2022

milk

lactose intolerance

anything that produces milk

Britain , Oklahoma / February 27, 2022

Jews and Other Minorities

Hitler/Nazi Party

Holocaust

Seth , NY / February 2022

Losing War/Destruction of Property

Napoleonic Invasion of Russia in 1812

French People Living in Russia

Anna , MA / February 2022

vaccine

covid 19

government

Camila , Neveah, CA / February 09, 2022

Covid

Rise in Covid Cases

China

Anonymous , . / February 08, 2022

unexplained happenings

bad luck

black cats

Tiana , NY / February 04, 2022

Bad Grades

Test/Projects

Teachers

Elijah and Payton , MA / February 04, 2022

sexuality

people taking charge of their sexuality

women

Brynn , Ari, IL / February 02, 2022

COVID 19

Government saying people need to get vaccinated

Unvaccinated people

Anonymous , Illinois / February 02, 2022

Child Abuse

Mommie Dearest

Joan Crawford

Judith , MA / February 2

Sexual Harassment

J.K. Rowling

Trans women

Alex , NY / January 27, 2022

Guns

School Shooting

Gun Owners

Alice , AK / January 27, 2022

Losing role as sole maternal figure to your child

Ex-husband remarries

Stepmother

Amber , Houston, Texas / January 26, 2022

Truth

Fox News

Tucker Carlson

Teresa , NC / January 23, 2022

Restrictions on immoral behavior

Pro-Life Movement

Christianity

Teresa , NC / January 23, 2022

Gun Violence

School Shootings

"Mental Illness"

Grace , GA / January 14, 2022

Covid

lot of cases

Teachers

Roper , MA / January 05, 2022

histeria over autism

Andrew Wakefeild's BS study

Autistic people

Anonymous , everywhere / January 03, 2022

Gen Z Not Being a Successful Generation

Too Much Social Media/Phones

Technology Is Harmful

Mendez , Chicago / January 01, 2022

Japan/War

Pearl Harbor

Japanese Americans

Kiana , IL / December 28, 2021

Sexual Harassment

me too movement

feminists

Dilorina , COOK / December 27, 2021

college acceptance

society's pressure

collegeboard

Anonymous , IL / December 26, 2021

Sexuality

People Taking Charge of Their Sexuality

Women

Ari , IL / December 25, 2021

COVID 19

Government saying people need to get vaccinated

Unvaccinated People

Levi , Chicago / December 15, 2021

white old men

white old men in power

Donald Trump

Grace , Connecticut / December 14, 2021

Not Enough Teachers

Art being cut from schools

Principals

Nathan , TN / December 14, 2021

Guns

violence

liberals

Anonymous , North Dakota / December 13, 2021

death

Covid-19

unvaccinated

Kelly , Uncasville, CT / December 13, 2021

ww2

hitler

jews

Joe , RI / December 10, 2021

women deprived of abortion

texas

governor greg abbott

Anonymous , millie MA / December 10, 2021

paying $7 a gallon

gas prices jacked

joe biden

Anonymous , Wi / December 09, 2021

WW2

Invasion of Poland

German People

Quincy , TN / December 09, 2021

POC standing up for themselves

white women tears

POC

Andrea , IL / December 08, 2021

Gun violence

shootings

Black community

Gabriel , California / December 07, 2021

Climate Change

Carbon Emmissions

Politicians

Chloe , TN / December 06, 2021

vaccine

covid 19

Government

Nevaeh , CA / December 02, 2021

covid-19

getting sick of covid

Asians or Chinese people

Lola , ca / November 30, 2021

COVID

Media

Donald Trump

Chris , MA / November 30, 2021

Gun Violence

Teenagers Being Bullied

video games

Anonymous , A, NY / November 29, 2021

The United States not being a Christian nation

Prayer taken out of schools

Liberals

Gail , Connecticut / November 25, 2021

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

Anonymous , 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

Submit a Witch Hunt

Scapegoat
Example: for Massachusetts, put in MA