In a small Massachusetts village in 1692, two young girls began having a series of fits that quickly afflicted other girls and young women in the town. Finding no physical cause for the fits, local physicians quickly dubbed it the work of the devil. The girls were thought to be possessed through witchcraft, and they quickly accused three village women of having cast the evil spells. As the news rapidly spread through the New England region, other girls suffered similar afflictions in neighboring towns, and increasingly numbers of women (and some men) were thus accused of witchcraft. In the span of four months, more than 150 people stood accused of witchcraft in the region, and 24 died as a result.
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