Episode 2: 974.45 – The Salem Witch Trials

In this episode of The Reference Desk, Hailee is bewitched with The Salem Witch Trials. 

Between February 1692 and May 1693, more than two hundred people were accused of witchcraft in Salem and surrounding towns. Thirty were found guilty, nineteen were executed by hanging, one other man was pressed to death, and at least five people died in jail. Also, two dogs were found guilty of witchcraft. Listen to find out more about this strange time in America’s history!


Blumberg, Jess. “ A Brief History of the Salem Witch Trials.” Smithsonian Magazine, 23 Oct. 2007, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/a-brief-history-of-the-salem-witch-trials-175162489/.

“Functional Neurologic Disorders/Conversion Disorder.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 5 Oct. 2019, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/conversion-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20355197.

History.com Editors. “Salem Witch Trials.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 4 Nov. 2011, http://www.history.com/topics/colonial-america/salem-witch-trials.

“How Rye Bread May Have Caused the Salem Witch Trials.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., http://www.britannica.com/story/how-rye-bread-may-have-caused-the-salem-witch-trials.

Jackson, Nicholas. “It Could Just Be Stress: The Teens of LeRoy and Conversion Disorder.” The Atlantic, 5 Feb. 2012, http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/02/it-could-just-be-stress-the-teens-of-leroy-and-conversion-disorder/252582/.

Lawson, Deodat. A Brief and True Narrative of Some Remarkable Passages Relating to Sundry Persons Afflicted by Witchcraft .. Printed for Benjamin Harris, 1692, quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A49794.0001.001?rgn=main;view=fulltext.

Mendleson, Scott. “Conversion Disorder and Mass Hysteria.” Huffpost, 1 Feb. 2012, http://www.huffpost.com/entry/mass-hysteria_b_1239012.

Newman, Caroline. “With UVA’s Help, Salem Finally Discovers Where Its ‘Witches’ Were Executed.” UVA Today, 27 Jan. 2016, news.virginia.edu/content/uvas-help-salem-finally-discovers-where-its-witches-were-executed.

Schiff, Stacey. “The Witches of Salem.” The New Yorker, 7 Sept. 2015.

Worthen, Meredith. “Remembering the Victims of the Salem Witch Executions.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 16 June 2020, http://www.biography.com/news/salem-witch-trials-facts.

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