What Are Some Possible Causes for the Hysteria in Salem?

There are numerous reasons behind the issues that arose in Salem in the late 1600s, including strained resources, smallpox and dislike of the new minister Reverend Samuel Parris. There were many symptoms and signs of witchcraft that had been documented when similar trials went on in Europe previously, most of which could be faked or lied about easily.

The start of the movement in Salem was spurred by Reverend Parris's daughters showing signs of odd behavior that the doctors could not explain. The hysteria was inflamed even more when a South American slave girl, Tituba, admitted to being a witch and to having made a deal with the devil himself to work for him.