The Salem witchcraft panic began in 1692, during an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a several of the town’s children began to experience screaming fits and convulsions. The panic spread quickly, involving the colony’s most educated men and prominent politicians. 19 men and women accused, tried and executed. In The Witches, Stacy Schiff recounts these events in ”a taut narrative” that is at once thoroughly grounded in its time and place and yet perceptive about the phenomena of mass panics.
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