Convulsive ergotism may have been a physiological basis for the Salem witchcraft crisis in Linnda R. Caporael From Science Vol. Numerous hypotheses have been devised to explain the occurrence of the Salem witchcraft trials in , yet a sense of bewilderment and doubt pervades most of the historical perspectives on the subject.
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Linnda R. Caporael
Ergotism: the satan loosed in Salem? Published on Apr 2, in Science Lr Caporael 1 Estimated H-index: 1. Find in Lib.
Ergotism: The Satan Loosed in Salem?
Ergotism: the satan loosed in Salem?
Linnda R. She is a Fulbright-Hayes Scholar and a visiting scientist in the Dept. She researches culture from a biological perspective and biology from a cultural perspective. In the April 2, , weekly issue of Science magazine, Caporael debuted a hypothesis that the accusations of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts, in could have been caused by ergotism. A fungus that grows on grains of rye, ergot contains a toxin which resembles LSD , and which can remain toxic in bread baked with flour tainted by it. Her evidence to support this theory includes historic weather reports and other growing conditions that foster the growth of this fungus, and the reported symptoms of several accusers, including hallucinations and crawling sensations in skin, which appear to match symptoms of ergot poisoning. Spanos and Jack Gottlieb published a complete review of all the evidence, historical and medical, and concluded that the data did not support Caporael's hypothesis.