Mass Hysteria

Salem Witch Trials vs. Red Scare of 1950

Salem Witches

Salem Witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. The trials resulted in the executions of twenty people, most of them women.


This is all a result of the girls dancing in the woods and blaming it on the devil to get out of their punishment. People were acting and accusing each other of witchcraft. So 20 people died by hanging.

Red Scare of 1950

Hysteria started over the perceived threat posed by Communists in the U.S. became known as the red scare. U.S. Senator Joseph R. McCarthy investigated allegations of subversive elements in the government and the Hollywood film industry. Under pressure from the negative publicity aimed at their studios, movie executives created blacklists that barred suspected radicals from employment; similar lists were also established in other industries.

Red Scare of 1950 vs. Salem Witch Trial

During the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 and the Red Scare of the 1950s, communities under a lot of stress hosted formal hearings during which members of these communities accused others of violating social standards. While these periods in history share many similarities, they were also distinctly different times that produced distinctly different consequences. However, when both periods ended, many accusers were filled with misgivings regarding decisions they made during the community meltdowns.