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New England, 1692: religious hysteria infects the people of small-town Salem and brings about a ruthless hunt. At a time when Europe has largely overcome the witch craze, dozens of people are accused of sorcery and executed. To this day, the case of Salem fascinates scholars and artists alike since the cause of the collective mania remains a mystery. Competing theories name a combination of religious hysteria, aggressively suppressed sexuality, the fear of the “devilish Indians,” common avarice, and the dual worldview of the puritans. The episode is a watershed for the young colony and one of the darkest chapters in the history of the United States.
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