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The term "witch hunt" is used to refer to the persecution of people within a society because of their opinions or their membership in a group.

In Europe, the witch hunt mainly took place from 1560 to 1680. We are talking about 100,000 trials, with 70 to 80,000 executions for which 70% of the condemned are women.

Witch hunts are mainly practiced in the Christian world.

We can consider the witch hunt as a crime against humanity.

The witch a figure of female rebellion because witches were women of science, independent and free women in their sexuality, which is why it was better to repress it.

The supposed witch is perceived as any criminal, therefore prosecuted and sentenced as such. A witch is later sentenced to death and burned

It is not a trial before a court, but simply a collective revenge, a popular lynching.

The number of victims caused by the executions is estimated at around 60,000.


Joseph McCarthy was an American senator in the 1950 s in USA. He was anticommunist so he began hunting supposed communist. This period to place in the Cold War, a conflict between USSR and USA. During this period, people were accused to be communist, so they are to be arrested and denounce each others. Many of them were imprisoned. It's targets were public figures and political figures. McCartyism's leaders torn apart the life of thousands of people.

The "Hollywood Ten" refers to ten producers, screenwriters or film directors who were summoned in 1947 by the House Un-American Activities Committee.

  • Alvah Bessie
  • Herbert Biberman
  • Lester Cole
  • Edward Dmytryk
  • Ring Lardner Jr
  • John Howard Lawson
  • Albert Maltz
  • Samuel Ornitz
  • Adrian Scott
  • Dalton Trumbo

Puritanism in 17th century New England

Punishment :

  • public shame
  • death
  • burnt
  • humiliation
  • drowned
  • imprisonment

Principles :

  • strict moral code
  • concept of predestination
  • forest, the place of Devil
  • unbreakable mariage
  • spiritual meaning is important
  • to believe in the same religion
  • no fashionable accesories and no colorful clothes
  • no dancing and holidays celebrations
  • pray
  • dressed in plain dark

What was forbidden :

  • physical and social pleasures
  • adultery
  • witchcraft
  • pact with Devil
  • being pact of Anglican church


...practices of hunting child witches persist in Africa. Witch hunting is a current practice in various African countries, especially in Nigeria.

Opponents of these practices practice torture, murder, abandonment of the child by his family.

The competition between the churches pushes more and more of them to practice the hunt for child witches. Giving the church an image of spiritual power and can also be remunerative, with parents paying for the exorcism of their child.

The only country where witchcraft is punishable by death is Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia established an anti-witchcraft unit in 2009 within the national religious police department.

About fifteen thousand children have been accused and a thousand children have been killed for witchcraft in a decade.