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

Sickness

Covid

Government

Dillon , CA / June 2024

Loss of Jobs

Trump

Illegal Immigrants

Allen , NE / June 2024

Disease

Covid

Asians

Olive , Trinidad and Tobago / June 2024

Fear of Falling

Trip On Sidewalk

People Who Made Sidewalk

Ben , PA / June 2024

Loss of Christianity

"Bigger than Jesus" - John Lennon

The Beatles

Elizabeth , MA / June 17, 2024

Islamophobia

9/11/2001

Muslims and Arabs

Genevieve , CA / June 16, 2024

Cults

Swifties

Taylor Swift

Raylon , KY / June 2024

Ottoman Loss of Power

WWI & Fall of Ottoman Empire

Armenians

Lindsey , MA / June 2024

The Devil/Witchcraft

Crop Failure/Illness

Women

Anna , AB / June 10, 2024

Banning Books

Ignorance

Teachers

Jessica , MA / June 5, 2024

Political (in) Correctness

Bravo TV/ Hollywood

American Patriots MAGA

Brandon , LA / June 4, 2024

Slavic independence from Austria-Hungary

Assassination of Franz Ferdinand

Serbia

Adam , MA / June 2, 2024

Violence

Donald Trump

Immigrants

Kelley , MD / June 2, 2024

LGBTQIA+

Christian Extremism

Transgender People in Sports

Anonymous , MA / May 2024

Expansion of German Army PreWWI

Irish Independence Movement

Celtics and Anti-Celtic Sentiment

Anonymous , MA / May 2024

Covid

Trump

Asian/Chinese Community

Barbara , MA / May 2024

Spread of Covid Virus

News of the Disease from China

Asian American Hate Crimes

Vivian , CA / May 2024

Retribution for Acting Out

Teenage Actions

Teachers

Annie , CA / May 2024

Unknown Infection

Ebola

Africans

Judy , Kenya / May 2024

Loss of Power by Germans

WWI and Depression

Jews

Howard , NJ / May 2024

Decline of Christianity

Equal Rights and "Wokeism"

Others and New Satanic Panic

Benito , Canada / May 2024

Covid

Dr. Fouchi

Trump

Joe , IL / May 24, 2024

Vladimir Putin

NATO / Military "Intervention" at Russia-Ukraine border

Slaughter of Ukrainians

Maya B. , NY / May 24, 2024

Feminism

Religious Paranoia

Women accused of being Witches

Maya B. , NY / May 24, 2024

Sexual Assault

"Men" in womens bathrooms

Trans people

Roman , MI / May 23, 2024

Jewish Genocide

October 7

Palestinians

S , Massachusetts / May 22, 2024

Mistreatment of students

Allowed Criminals or Aliens as Teachers

The American School System

Anonymous , MA / May 22, 2024

Homosexuality

Communism

Gay men in 1950s

Andrew , MA / May 21, 2024

Loss of Power and Control

South African People Defy Apartheid

Nelson Mandela

CP , Connecticut / May 20, 2024

Constitutional Rights

Facts over Feelings

Donald Trump

Elizabeth , Davidson, NC / May 18, 2024

Breaking the Binary

Loss of the Patriarchy

Trans People

N/A , The South / May 18, 2024

People wanting me to kill myself or purposely giving aids

Negative mental affirmations of family and friends

Me-Isolated hopeless

Christina , North Carolina / May 14, 2024

Truth

Politicians

The U.S. Constituion

Bruce , FL / May 13, 2024

Illness

Pandemic

Doctors/Medicine

Bruce , FL / May 2024

Being hung for witchcraft

John Proctor

Tituba

Abigail , MA / May 13, 2024

Terrorism

9/11

Muslims

B. , MA / May 2024

Homelessness

Infection

Government

W. , MA / May 2024

China

Covid

Asian Americans

Karol and Ashley , MA / May 2024

Queer People/LGBT People

Queer Acceptance

Queer People

Pascale , Côte Saint-Luc / May 12, 2024

Uncontrolled Border

Joe Biden

USA Citizens

Anonymous , OH / May 12, 2024

Oppression, objectification, and violence toward women

Patriarchal Societies

Women

C. Jacobs , FL / May 11, 2024

Rising Autism Rates

False Unproven

Vaccines

Anonymous , MA / May 10, 2024

Crime

Sensationalist Media

Criminals

Anonymous , MA / May 10, 2024

Grooming of Children

"Woke" Culture

LGBTQIA People

Anonymous , MA / May 10, 2024

Drugs

Nixon

Blacks, Hispanics, Hippies

Anonymous , MA / May 2024

Islam

Israel's Genocide

Muslims and Palestinians

Anonymous , MA / May 2024

Rising Rates of Mental Illness

Conservatives + Fear Mongering

"Woke" Culture and Technology

Anonymous , MA / May 10, 2024

Loss of governmental control

Trump elected

Russia (collusion)

Tom , PA / May 10, 2024

Gang Violence

Racism and Media Sensationalism

Racial Minorities and Immigrants

Anonymous , MA / May 9, 2024

Rising Awareness of Sexual Violence

Media Misinformation

LGBTQ/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

Anonymous , MA / May 8, 2024

Donald Trump

Liberals

MSNBC/CNN Fake News

Abby , Boston / May 8, 2024

Infection

COVID

Non-Vaccinated People

Anonymous , CO / May 5, 2024

Legal punishment

Patriarchal control

Women

Riley , WA / May 5, 2024

Russian election interference

Mean tweets

Donald Trump

Brandon , Delaware / May 4, 2024

Morissey

his voice

Johnny Marr (the GOAT)

Izzy , England / April 30, 2024

loss of control

uncomfortable questions

public education

Shannon , Union Hall, VA / April 29, 2024

MAGA 2.0

Next Presidential Election

Indictments and Trump Trials

Armando , Miami, FL / April 2024

Palestinians

Wanting Freedom and Country

Palestine Genocide by Israeli Govt.

Buddy , NH / April 2024

Non-affordable Rents

Inflation + Greedy Estate Agents

Millenials & Immigrants

Michelle , Germany / April 27, 2024

Infection

COVID

Chinese

Bryce , MA / April 26, 2024

Female Power

Men Insecurities

Women

Kenlen , IL / April 25, 2024

World War III

October 7th Attack

Jews/Iran/Biden

Liesl , NY / April 25, 2024

Palestine/Hamas

Marxist ideology

Jews/Israel

Anonymous , MA / April 23, 2024

Colonization

Land & Resources

Catholicism

Andy , Santa Fe, NM / April 23, 2024

Losing Value (as Provider and Protector)

Women choosing to stay single

Feminists

Ellis , MI / April 23, 2024

freedom

false

trump

Kynlie , TX / April 22, 2024

infection

aids

gay community

Anonymous , MA / April 22, 2024

Drowning

The Film 'San Andreas'

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson

Moop , MA / Aprill 22, 2024

Overpopulation

Lack of Resources

Pandemic

Farrah and Nicholas , NY / April 20, 2024

a lot of land

free laborers

Black people

Michelle , WA / April 20, 2024

Responsibility of a child

(unwanted) pregnancy

unborn children

Michelle , WA / April 20, 2024

police Brutality

media

police

Val , NJ / April 2024

COVID/Disease/Fauci

Don't Vaccinate

Conservatives

Anonymous , MA / April 2024

Anything Hard

Donald Trump

Right-Wing Ideas

Anonymous , MA / April 2024

Infection

COVID

Medical Staff/Chinese

Anonymous , MA / April 2024

Loss of the White Majority

Continuing Tradition of Safe Harbor for Immigrants

Asylum Seekers

Carol , MA / April 2024

Donald Trump Fears Conviction

Courts Holding Him Accountable

Anyone Challenging His Presumed Innocence

Carol , MA / April 2024

Car Getting Clamped

Capitalism

Local Leisure Centre

Josephine , Devon / April 18, 2024

Natives

sporadic attacks

Natives

Michael , WA / April 18, 2024

Poor living amongst wealthy

Automobile taking over staes

Immigrants/Black and Native Americans

James , VA / April 18, 2024

Religion/Family/Love America

Socialist Liberal Agenda

Conservatives/God/Fam/Nation

Diane , FL / April 18, 2024

Religion

Being Thrown Stones At, Bully, Rape, Ignorance

Dogmatic Christians

Anonymous , NY / April 2024

Being Upside Down

Liberals

Allied Powers

Benito , Italia / April 2024

Illness

Death

Sick people

Kimberly , WA / April 17, 2024

General Crime

Elections

Illegal Immigrants

Andrew , MA / April 2024

Terrorism

9/11

Muslims

Andrew , MA / April 2024

Loss of American Identity

Political Gain

Immigrants

Bob , NL / April 2024

Worse Living Conditions

Unemployment/Less Money

Immigrants

Katja , Schqarzenberg / April 15, 2024

Income Inequality/Social Change

Republican Leaders

Trans and Non-Binary Folx

Anonymous , MA / April 2024

Hamas

Israeli Army

Palestinian People

Anonymous , MA / April 2024

Lack of Growth & Stability in the "New World"

Others using black slaves to gain wealth

Enslaved Black People

Stella , WA / April 15, 2024

Covid 19

Donald Trump

Chinese Ppl

Rebecca , UT / April 15, 2024

Gun violence

Shootings

Guns

Presley , WA / April 2024

Cultural Erosion

French Immigrants

Russia Today

Volodymyr , MA / April 16, 2024

Changing gender norms

Growing acceptance of LGBTQ

Attacks on Queer people

Terek , NY / April 13, 2024

Terrorist Group, Like Al Quaeda

9/11 Terorist Attack

Muslims And Middle Easterners

Anonymous , NY / April 2024

Terrorism War

Hamas

Palestinians

Anonymous , Middle East / April 2024

Economic Crisis in Germany

Adolf Hitler and Nazi Party

Murder of Jews and Minorities

Carly , PA / April 2024

Unemployment/Jews

Hitler and Depression

Holocaust of Jews

Diane , NJ / April 12, 2024

insecurity

President Eisenhower

homosexual people

Eisenhower , United States / April 11, 2024

Hamas

October 7, 2023

Palestinians

Chris , NS / April 2024

Repressed Parts of Themselves

People Embodying Their Truth

Gender Non-Conforming People and Queer Folx

Alexa , Nova Scotia / April 2024

Gun Violence

Redlining

African American Men and Women

Laryssa , MA / April 10, 2024

Pandemic

Trump

Immigrants

Mariola , MA / April 20, 2024

Terrorism

911

Muslims

Mariola , MA / April 2024

Crime/Drugs

Trump

Immigrants, Refugees, Migrants, Asylum Seekers

Sue , MA / April 10, 2024

Freedom

False Promises

Trump

Anonymous , MA / April 2024

Racial injustice

Bad black people killed by cops

Whites

George , NY / April 4, 2024

Police Brutality

Media

Police Offcers

Val , NJ / April 3

Loss of Political/Economic Power

Changing Marital Ideals/Rising Divorce Rates

Books/Education

Chris , WA / April 2024

Economic Insecurity

Donald Trump

Media, Immigration, Women

MJ , MI / March 29, 2024

Politicians losing power/influence

Young people speaking out

Tiktok

Sophia , IA / March 29, 2024

Feeling Stuck in Life

Perfectionism

Tony Blair

Lizette , VT / March 28, 2024

Death

Covid

China

Finley , Canada / March 27, 2024

Terrorism

9/11

Architects

Bernette , VT / March 27, 2024

Rape/assault

Bathrooms becoming more inclusive

Transgender women

Billy Bob , CA / March 27, 2024

9/11

Terrorist Attack

Muslims

Nick , UK / March 25, 2024

Infection

Covid

Asian/Chinese

Kristofer , CA / March 23, 2024

Feminism

Loss of power and control

Strong and Independent women

Chris , VT / March 22, 2024

grades

school

depression

Bobby , MI / March 21, 2024

Witchcraft

Witches

Tituba

John , MA / March 21, 2024

Female Liberation

Feminsim

Persecution of Women and Femicide

Bruno , Mexico / March 20, 2024

Socialism

Jews

Holocaust/Jews

Bruno , Mexico / March 20, 2024

Racism

Media

White people

Anonymous , US / March 20, 2024

terrorist threats

bombings

arabic people

Gabe , mi / March 20, 2024

Disease

COVID

Violence against Asians

Danielle , NH / March 17, 2024

Islam

9/11

Internment/Iraq War

Danielle , NH / March 17, 2024

COVID

Pandemic

Asians/Chinese

Camille , TX / March 15, 2024

illness

death

sick people

Anonymous , USA / March 15, 2024

Fentanyl

rise in deaths from fentanyl overdose

immigrants

Matthew , NC / March 14, 2024

Grooming/Indoctrination

FL Gov. DeSantis

LGBTQIA+ Community and Public Education

Peyton and Megan , FL / March 13, 2024

Infection

COVID-19

Asian Americans

Eleanor , CA / March 12, 2024

Losing Occupied Territory

Oct. 7 Hamas Attack

Palestinian Civilians

Karen , IN / March 8, 2024

Death

Covid 19

Asian Ethnic Groups

Martha , MA / March 8, 2024

Devil

Bad things happening to animals, crops, & people

Anyone acting different & strange

Christina , MA / March 5, 2024

Russian interference in the 2016 election

Trump's ties to the russian state

Mueller Investigation

Matthew , TX / March 3, 2024

Terrorism

Trump/Xenophobia

Palestine

Bella , MO / March 1, 2024

People

social interactions

women

David , MA / March 1, 2024

Threat to traditional heterosexual families

Rise in numbers of Transgender individuals and Gay families

The LGBTQ+ Community

Michael , OK / March 1, 2024

War

Assassination of Archduke of Austria

Germany

Anonymous , USA / March 1, 2024

War/death

WW1

Germany

Anonymous , MA / March 1, 2024

Autism

Media hype

Flu and lyme disease vaccines

Dan , NB, Canada / February 28, 2024

Transphobia

Radical Gender Theory/Ignorance

Nex Benedict, 16, murdered in Oklahoma 2/7/2024

Annie , NY / February 28, 2024

Loss of Womanhood

Bathrooms

Trans People

Dani , UK / February 22, 2024

Pandemic

COVID

China

Matt , FL / February 20, 2024

Impurity - promiscuity

Adolescent hormones

Friends who are 'bad influences'

Lisa , Central Mass / February 20, 2024

Emasculation, meaninglessness

Racist Indoctrination

Worshipers of Emanuel Church in Charleston, SC

Michelle , MD / February 16, 2024

Loss of Election

Congress gathered to count Electoral College votes

Congress/ Nancy Pelosi/ Mike Pence

Michelle , MD / February 16, 2024

antifa

trumps big lie/jan 6 attack

political opponents

Anonymous , DC / February 15, 2024

Pandemic

Stares from those who no longer mask

Anyone who masks

Jennifer , PA / February 14, 2024

Racism

Nationwide Racism And Goverment Fear Mongering

Republicans

Anonymous , GA / February 15, 2024

police brutality

George Floyd

All Police

Meg , RI / February 12, 2024

anxiety

scarcity

innocents and mass hysteria

yaritza , KS / February 9, 2024

Racism

Nationwide racism and government fear mongering

republicans

Anonymous , GA / February 9, 2024

Terrorism

9/11

Guantanamo Bay/Xeneophobia To Muslims

Miguel , MA / February 8, 2024

change

education

youth

Rosemary , MS / February 8, 2024

Guns/Shootings

School Shootings

Violent Video games

Joe , MA / February 07, 2024

Rebellion

Slavery

Indian/African

Sans , NC / February 06, 2024

losing jobs

racism

mexicans/mexican americans

marisela , CA / February 6, 2024

The growing social power of women and the fear of men being falsely accused

Johnny Depp's defamation trial and social media smear campaign

Amber Heard

Stephen , OK / February 05, 2024

Rebellion

Slavery

Indian/African

Sans , NC / February 02, 2024

The Unknown

Change

Anyone that Accepts the Change

Alexandria , Pullman, WA / February 01, 2024

The Truth

The Matrix

Andrew Tate

Zaid , OH / January 30, 2024

Children are being groomed

biased media, greater acceptance and outlets for drag performers

Drag Performers

Jason , OH / January 30, 2024

Anxiety

Scarcity

Innocents and Mass Hysteria

Jasper and Krishna , Singapore / January 2024

Lack of Healthcare providers

Spanish Flu

quarantine

Andie , KS / January 26, 2024

Sickness

Covid 19

Anxiety

Layla , KS / January 26, 2024

rebellion

slavery

indian/african

Nathan , PA / January 26, 2024

Judaism overtaking the south

Leo Frank Lynching

Jewish community

Elena , NE / January 26, 2024

Destruction and Rioting

Death of Rodney King

Black Americans

Gracie , KS / January 26, 2024

Loss of control/money

Death of family patriarch

youngest adult child of family, only female, executor

Susan , MI / January 26, 2024

LGBTQ "Groomers"

Biased Media And Illegal Election Practices

Drag Queens And "Woke" Teachers

Jalane , VA / January 26, 2024

Racism

nationwide racism and government fear mongering

Republicans

Anonymous , GA / January 25, 2024

Change

Education

Youth

Helen , CA / January 25, 2024

Suicide

Parents feeling like they're doing a bad job.

DnD

Sav , SC / January 24, 2024

January 6th

Biased Media and Illegal election practices

President Trump

Ryan , VA / January 22, 2024

Racism, Capitalism

Disagreement with Conservative Values

Democrats

Cari , CA / January 22, 2024

Terrorism

9/11

Guantanamo Bay/Xenophobia to Muslims

Amanda , FL / January 2024

Failing Economy

Immigration/Overpopulation

Latino-Americans

Cesar , NY / January 2024

Death

Covid-19

Asian Ethnic Groups

Julius , NY / January 19, 2024

Loss of International Power

Booming Chinese Economy

Chinese Americans

Manal , Netherlands / January 2024

Sex Trafficking

Young Women- 17 And Lower

A Group Of Young School Girls

Ava and Jabari , MA / January 18, 2024

Murder/Manslaughter

Mentally Ill

Innocent People

EM , NY / January 18, 2024

Witches

Illness and Misfortune

Random People

John , Salem / January 17, 2024

Hatred of Asians

Covid-19

Asian People

Anonymous , United States / January 17, 2024

Taxes

The IRS

The Middle Class

WY , NY / January 17, 2024

terrorists

Pearl Harbor

Japanese

Anonymous , US / January 17, 2024

Terrorist Groups, like Al Quaeda

9/11 Terrorist attack

Muslims and middle easterners

Anonymous , New York, NY / January 17, 2024

Witchery

Betty's sickness

Tituba

Anonymous , Salem / January 17, 2024

Hanging

Danforth

Reverend Parris

Anonymous , MA / January 17, 2024

Chinese Muslims

Religion

Human Rights Abuse and Genocide

Matt , NY / January 17, 2024

Death

COVID-19 Pandemic

Anxiety

Disha , NY / January 17, 2024

Terrorism

9/11/2001

Blaming Muslims by expressing islamophobia

Anonymous , United States / January 2024

Infection, Death, or Illness

COVID-19 Pandemic

Anxiety

Anonymous , MA / January 17, 2024

Racism, capitalism

Disagreement with conservative values

Conservatives

Harry , NY / January 15, 2024

Abuser will be found out

Abused person tells a family member

The abused person

Anonymous , USA / January 2024

lying little girls

illiterate adults

innocent people

John , Mass / January 12, 2024

Feeling inferior/powerless

Meeting new societies

Native Americans

Anonymous , VA / January 12, 2024

Sex Trafficking

Young Women- 17 and Lower

A Group of Young School Girls

Ava , Jabari, MA / January 08, 2024

Tylenol

Tylenol laced with fatal drugs

People

Anonymous , Chicago, IL / January 08, 2024

Submit a Witch Hunt

Scapegoat
Example: for Massachusetts, put in MA