The Salem Witch Trials

Dan Snow's History Hit

Nov 3 2023 • 33 mins

The Malleus Maleficarum, or the 'Hammer of Witches', was a 15th-century book that sparked mass hysteria about the existence of witches in Europe - and it wasn't long before North America had fallen for the same obsession.


In a special Halloween episode, Dan is joined by the co-host of the Gone Medieval podcast, Eleanor Janega, to take us through the most famous example of a witch-hunt in action. Eleanor explains how old grudges and grievances boiled up as the citizens of Salem, Massachusetts turned on one another. Hundreds of people were accused of witchcraft and just shy of two dozen were executed for it. So what happened in Salem? Why were almost all of the accused women? And what was a witch anyway? Tune in to find out.


Produced by James Hickmann and edited by Dougal Patmore.


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