Ergot Rye Poisoning, LSD and the Salem Witch Trials
Did HALLUCINOGENS spark the Salem witch trials? Experts say locals may have eaten bread contaminated with a fungus found in LSD
20 people were executed during the Salem witch trials
34 girls accused villagers of using witchcraft to attack them
A scientist claims tainted rye may have caused them to hallucinate
Ergot, which is found in LSD, grew on the crops used to make their bread
The Salem witch trials began when a group of young girls claimed they were attacked by ‘supernatural beings’ sent by villagers who practiced ‘the Devil’s magic’.
However, scientists claims that that rye grown in Salem had been contaminated with a type of fungus found in LSD that causes people to experience seizures, pain and hallucinations.
This, they claim, could be the real reason for the bizarre claims, and the death of the 20 executed between 1692 and 1693 in Salem, Massachusetts for being witches.
The strange events began in February 1692, when Reverend Parris’ daughter Elizabeth, who was 9 years old, and niece Abigail Williams, age 11, began having ‘epileptic fits’, reportsThe Smithsonian.
And shortly after, more young girls in the town began experiencing the same symptoms.
These girls would shake uncontrollably, scream in pain and unexpectedly faint.
The behavior caused hysteria throughout the community and when confronted about their actions, the girls claimed they were being attacked by villagers using ‘the Devil’s magic’.
Although many now believe the girls claims were nothing more than a hoax, one behavioural scientist believes otherwise.