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How did it start ?

In Europe, between the 16th and 18th centuries, thousands of women and, more rarely, men were tried for witchcraft. Almost systematically, these trials resulted in a death sentence. Historians speak of 200,000 witch trials and 50,000 to 100,000 women burned. They were accused of spoiling the crops, of changing into animals to commit their misdeeds, even of dancing with the devil.

These famous trials which agitated the small town of Salem, in Massachusetts, began in the winter of 1682-1693.

how did it start ?


Salem is a city located on the north coast of Massachusetts, above Boston.

but to understand you have to go back in time

here we are in the winter of 1682-1693


let's continue the visit

It is the house of samuel parris which plays a decisive role in this story.

Samuel parris is a merchant named in 1689 pastor / reverend of the church of the city.

This is his nine-year-old daughter betty parris

This is his niece Abigail Williams

It is Tituba, their slave from Barbados. She tells the girls legends that captivate them


In February 1692, young Betty Parris began having "fits" that defied rational explanation. This is also the case of Abigail Williams and Ann Putnam, a friend of the girls. Horrified, doctors and pastors watch the girls convulse, cower under chairs and scream nonsense.

Little educated in biology, medicine or psychology, these notables concluded that they had possession. They brutalize the little ones until they denounce more or less marginal women around them. Tituba is accused of being a witch, as are Sarah Good, a scruffy beggar, and Sarah Osburn, a senile woman.

(this is salem church)

Having been badly beaten, Tituba begins to confess and denounce other people.

“The devil came to me and commanded me to serve him,” she allegedly claimed in March 1692.

Bewitched villagers then listen to Tituba tell stories of black dogs, red cats... She would have seen several witches with their faces uncovered who only dreamed of destroying the Puritans.

It was a Puritan society at the time. Puritans are Protestants from England and Scotland very attached to the letter of Scripture, belonging to a rigid sect, which appeared in the 16th century, many of whose members emigrated to North America to flee persecution in England. Puritans respect principles of austerity, rigidity, hostility to all pleasures

Terrified inhabitants then begin to denounce more and more witches to the investigators who go door to door. Strange testimonies and rumors are piling up. The accused are tortured and tried in hasty trials held in a special court created for the occasion.


Now is the time to leap forward

Soon, nineteen "witches" are being hanged in Gallows Hill. One of the defendants, Giles Cory, is tortured to death when he refuses to plead. Five others, including an infant, died in prison.

we are here in the office of a famous author

Released on January 22, 1953, the play "The Cruciale" is based on the events surrounding the 1692 witchcraft trial in Salem, Massachusetts.

Here is a brief summary: In the village of Salem, Abigail, a servant dismissed by her mistress for having an adulterous relationship with her master, seeks revenge. To achieve her goals, she is ready for anything. With the help of other young girls, she denounces certain inhabitants and accuses them of witchcraft.

Arthur Asher Miller, born October 17, 1915 in New York and died February 10, 2005 in Roxbury, was an American playwright, writer and essayist. Miller is an important figure in 20th century American literature and cinema.

Historical Context

The term McCarthyism originally referred to the controversial practices and policies of U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy ,and has its origins in the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting from the late 1940s through the 1950s.

The House Un-American Activities Committee was charged with investigating allegations of communist influence and subversion in the U.S. during the early years of the Cold War. Committee members quickly settled their gaze on the Hollywood film industry, which was seen as a hotbed of communist activity.

Miller describes in "The Crucible" the event as an allegory of McCarthyism. He himself will be questioned by the Committee on Un-American Activities in 1956. This book allows him to criticize McCarthyism indirectly because many members of his entourage were censored and suspected of being communists.

Historical Context

The Hollywood 10 were a group of ten men who were all accused of being communists and were subsequently blacklisted in the 1940s. They were the first and highest profile blacklists, but they were far from the only ones targeted.

Most were never employed in Hollywood again, but some wrote scripts under pseudonyms

Finally The blacklist disappeared in the early 1960s

Hollywood 10

it's time to come back to the present

Among them we find Herbert J. Biberman, he was an American screenwriter, director and producer, born in 1900 in Philadelphia and died In 1971 in New York

Herbert Biberman became one of ten Hollywood writers and directors cited for contempt of Congress in 1947 when he refused to answer questions about his affiliation with communism. he was also sent to jail. He served a six‐month prison sentence in a Federal peniten tiary in Texas.

Suffering the wrath of McCarthyism by being placed on the cinema blacklist, his best-known film The Salt of the Earth in 1954 was boycotted in the United States but met with great success in Europe.

Made during the height of the McCarthy era by a group of blacklisted filmmakers who were among the best and the brightest Hollywood talent of the day, Salt of the Earth is a politically and emotionally charged feature-length film.

This is , about a zinc miners' strike in Grant County, New Mexico.

21st century

Even today modern witch hunts exist on all continents of the world. History has shown us that over the centuries, majorities have targeted communities and aimed to destroy them for their differences, as is the case today for homosexuals targeted by the Islamic state.

This is the flag of the Islamic State, also called Daesh, is a terrorist organization, military and political, of Salafist jihadist ideology

This is the flag of the LGBT community

The Islamic State organization has established a real legal framework around homosexuality, which must be condemned according to the precepts of Sharia, Islamic law. According to the ideology of the jihadist group, homosexuality is an affront to "fitrah" (the state of nature) and must therefore, as such, be fought.