Dear cecil: i keep hearing claims that the salem witchcraft trials were the result of poisoning by grain infected with ergot fungus, which caused convulsions and other symptoms that the simple souls of the day interpreted as signs of demonic possession. Ergot (claviceps purpura) is a fungus that grows on a variety of grains, especially rye it grows in a slightly curved, fusiform shape with sclerotia replacing individual grains on the host plant. The harvest season prior to the winter of 1692, when the symptoms began, was damp and a perfect breeding ground for ergot to spread in the rye crop, which was at the time the staple grain of salem.
Ergot needs warm, damp weather to grow, and those conditions were rife in the fields around salem in 1691 rye was the primary grain grown, so there was plenty of it to be infected caporael also discovered that most of the accusers lived on the west side of the village, where the fields were chronically marshy, making them a perfect breeding. Salem was a community stricken with inequality, fear of the native indians, bitter disputes over land, and sexual repression it is likely that ergot of rye was merely a catalyst in an already volatile situation, and mass hysteria took care of the rest. Ergot is a toxic fungus that can grow on rye grain used to make bread in the 17th century, and it has a chemical similarity to lsd, a known hallucinogen the connection does not explain why the adults in the community—parents, clergy, judges—interpreted such reported symptoms as being caused by. Our culture depicts witches as women with bulbous noses flying in the wee hours of the night with their brooms the appearance of witches in our history may have been because of the lack of information, but our modern era has debunked the myth and attributed such claims to the presence of rye infested with ergot.
Ergot of rye - i: introduction and history introduction (1988) linked the occurrence of ergotism with periods where there were high incidents of people persecuted for being witches emphasis was placed on the salem witch trial, in massachusetts, in 1692, where there was a sudden rise in the number of people accused of being witches, but. A common misconception: the ergot theory and the salem witch trials assuming caporael is correct about the presence of ergot, the path of the fungus from the rye to the girls is a logical argument the court officials and the people testifying in salem village were trying to prove the existence of witches, so the testimony. Some anthropologists theorize that the murderous mania of the salem witch trials wasn't caused by religious panic or hectic politics they blame ergot, a grain fungus that causes paranoia, hallucinations and convulsions—the same symptoms that were thought to be caused by bewitchment. The witches curse clues and evidence are present in the records of the salem witchcraft trials ergot thrives in warm, damp, rainy springs and summers rye was the staple grain of salem. The historian researched the growing season of rye -- the grain on which ergot seems to grow most easily she found that there had been a wet summer in salem, massachusetts prior to the winter of 1692, and ergot spreads most easily in damp weather.
Rye, the main crop grown in salem at the time, is particularly susceptible to ergot disease if a person eats bread made from ergot-infected rye flour, the result can be hallucinations, loss of bodily control, delusions, and even death” (witch madness, 2000. Ergot poisoning (lsd) - the cause of the salem witch trials - pbs secrets of the dead ergot poisoning - the cause of the salem witch trials a fungus that affects rye grain ergotism — ergot poisoning — had indeed been implicated in other outbreaks of bizarre behavior, such as the one that afflicted the small french town of pont-saint. An interesting video made in a chalk style for a history channel series i own no rights to this video, but do pay thanks to the creators quite neat really salem witch trials of 1692 lead.
The salem witch trials occurred in colonial massachusetts between 1692 and 1693 more than 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft—the devil's magic—and 20 were executed. The ergot hypothesis neither fits the facts of the case nor, in any way, helps to elucidate those facts ergotism has probably affected some towns we may never know about salem. The salem witch trials started due to ergot poisoning, but once the trials started, the afflicted took it out of control, subconsciously building on what was happening to. Bad rye and the salem witches this menagerie of nastiness is caused by two characteristics in the ergot of rye: clavine alkaloids, which cause convulsive symptoms and ergotamine-ergocristine alkaloids which restrict blood vessels and starve the limbs and brain of oxygen.
Eating ergot poisoned food leads to a number of problems including nausea, vomiting, spasms, convulsions, and unconsciousness like those characterized by the victims of witches in the salem. Cases of ergot poisoning (known as ergotism) were well-documented in medieval europe, and often caused victims to experience the same symptoms as the bewitched salem girls. Ergotism and the salem witch panic 359 ergot hypothesis, incorrect, or presented in a highly misleading manner there is, in other words, not a shred of evidence in support of the ergot hypothesis.
Salem witch trial conspiracy in the uk premiere of salem witch trial conspiracy, join author katherine howe as she embarks on a historical journey to bring you the truth behind the world's most famous witch-hunt of the over one hundred people charged with witchcraft, five died in jail, 19 died on the gallows and one was crushed to death. Ergot: nature's lsd - ergot, the result of a mold, is often toxic and fatal to humans that are exposed to it rye grain is the most occurring source for the toxic ergot fungus could it be ergot poisoning that started the hysteria since puritans believed the devil worked in league with witches, the already suspicious salem residents. The dog was then supposed to point to the witches who had afflicted the victim in salem village, in the massachusetts colony, in 1692, such a witch's cake was key in the first accusations of witchcraft that led to court trials and executions of many who were accused. Ergot is a hallucinogenic—lsd is derived from the substance—and caporael suggested the girls who believed they were being taunted by witches were actually under the effects of a common grain fungus.
The salem witch trials led to the deaths of many innocent women one theory for why people may have believed in witches was recently resurrected on tumblr ergot, grows on rye,. A witch in the rye food for thought - mark r vogel - [email protected] - archive the colony of salem, massachusetts was founded in 1626 by a group of fishermen the name salem is related to hebrew and arabic words which mean peace. Salem witch trials, (june 1692–may 1693), in american history, a series of investigations and persecutions that caused 19 convicted “witches” to be hanged and many other suspects to be imprisoned in salem village in the massachusetts bay colony (now danvers, massachusetts.