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The Witches

Leane Rosa


The McCarthyism

Hollywood ten

Witch hunt

Modern witch hunt


Witch hunt

In the 17th century (february 1692), there was a major witch hunt in North America.

It's happening in Massachusetts in Salem. Three young girls are starting to have inexplicable "attacks". Doctors and pastors conclude that they are possessed. The slave Tituba is then accused of being a witch as well as Sarah Good and Sarah Osburn.

Tituba confesses to having served the devil and begins to denounce other people. Then all the fearful inhabitants start to denounce everyone. The accused are tortured and tried. Nineteen witches are hanged, one is tortured to death and five others die in prison, including a baby.

In May 1693, Governor William Phips pardoned all those still in prison for witchcraft.

In Europe, the witch hunt lasts from about 1580 to 1630. It's almost 70 to 80 000 executions, 100 000 trials and 70% are women.

The McCarthyism

In the 30s and 40s in the USA there was an active communist party fighting for civil and workers' rights. However, it is under attack from conservatives and liberals.
This is the beginning of McCartyism.


The government decided to drive out all the communists present. That's why people who bullied others were suspected of having contact with left-wing political ideas. People hanging modern art, having a multiracial social circle or having signed petitions against nuclear weapons were seen as communists.

The head of the FBI Mr Hoover stalked them, imprisoned them or they were most often black listed.Congress, on the other hand, goes on a witch hunt by having them appear in front of a committee and if one refuses, they were also imprisoned.

McCarthy was a Republican senator elected in 1953 who, when he became famous by spreading the names of potential Communists, abused his power. he fabricated false evidence and accused people for nothing.It destroyed the lives and work of thousands of people. However, the reaction to communism was so excessive that it was more violent than the threat itself.

Hollywood Ten

The 10 were Alvah Bessie, Herbert Biberman, Lester Cole, Edward Dmytryk, Ring Lardner, Jr., John Howard Lawson, Albert Maltz, Samuel Ornitz, Adrian Scott and Dalton Trumbo.

Hollywood Ten, in the history of the United States, are 10 film producers, directors and screenwriters who appeared before the Un-American House Activities Committee in October 1947. They refused to answer questions about their possible membership in the Communist Party, and after spending six months in jail for contempt of Congress, they were mostly blacklisted by Hollywood studios.

With the exception of Dmytryk having cooperated, most have never been employed in Hollywood again, but some have written scripts under pseudonyms. Like «Robert Rich», Trumbo won an Oscar for best screenplay for The Brave One (1956). The blacklist disappeared in the early 1960s, and Trumbo and Lardner then wrote scripts under their own names.


Dalton Trumbo, born December 9, 1905 and died September 10, 1976, was an American writer, screenwriter and director. He is best known for being the filmmarker of Johnny’s War Away (Johnny Got His Gun) and for being one of the «Hollywood Ten», a group of film professionals who refused to testify at the 1947 commission of inquiry into communist influences in the film industry. He’s on the blacklist, so he can’t work anymore. Exiled in Mexico, he continued to work under various pseudonyms, winning twice the Oscar for best original story in 1954 and 1957.

Many African countries such as Ghana, Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania have "witch camps". These are shelters created by the government to protect women who have been rejected from their communities. Some have been there for 10, 20 or 30 years.

Modern Witch Hunt

It often starts when a disturbance occurs. A family child or several animals in a herd die. These deaths, considered abnormal, are seen as acts of malice. Most accusers are family members who refer to a woman who suspected her of being a “witch.” Then, a priest comes to confirm the accusation or not. The rituals of punishment consist in being lynched in public. Witches are driven out of the city or killed.

Children can even be accused of being sorcerers. Many cases have been reported in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Witchcraft is a good excuse to get rid of children suffering from deformities and children sometimes difficult that parents can not educate. Sometimes when one parent dies, the other parent blames the child for the murder.

Today, accusations of witchcraft can still lead to death.

In July 2020, Akua Dante, a 90-year-old woman accused of witchcraft, was publicly lynched and died in northern Ghana.