Belief in witchcraft seems to be almost universal in human societies.In Europe’s early society, many Europeans developed a heightened concern with the phenomenon/occurrence of witchcraft.
This belief led to widespread persecutions in which thousands of Europeans, both women and men, were executed as witches.Governments and society organized “hunts” for these alleged witches, torturing, accusing more than 100,000, and executing thousands of people in a period known as the European witch craze, lasting from about 1480 to 1700. Although witches were oppressed throughout most of Europe, the mass of trials and executions were centralized in southwestern Germany, Switzerland, England, Scotland, Poland, and parts of France.During this time such events as the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Reformation, and the Scientific Revolution occurred, leading to a variety ofreasons for the persecution of individuals as witches.
Many of the alleged witches were accused as such through superstitions and fear.People creates superstitions as a way of explaining what witches were and the evils deeds they performed.Their fears came from these superstitions, and from being harmed by witches.According to Thomas Ady, one English householder believe that his neighbor had bewitched him, because he had refused relief to an old man or woman who came to his door.
He beleived that witches had the power to change the way things act because his child, wife, and animals were all acting in a strange fashion, which could be explained only by the reasoning that his neighbor must be a witch, since there wasno other explanation for this occurrence.(Doc. A3) Martin Luther, founder of the Lutheran Church, preached that witches worked for the Devil, stole, created storms, rode on goats and broomsticks, maimed people, tortured babies, forced people into immorality and love, and transformed humans into other animals.
He felt that the Devil could act alon…