The Salem Witch Trials of 1692-1693 were by far the largest and most lethal outbreak of witchcraft hysteria in American history. Yet Salem was just one of many incidents during the Great Age of Witch Hunts which took place throughout Europe and her colonies over many centuries. Indeed, by European standards, Salem was not even a large outbreak. But what exactly were the factors that made Salem stand out?
Mary Barrett Dyer (c. 1611 — June 1, 1660) was an English Puritan turned Quaker who was hanged in Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony for repeatedly defying a Puritan law banning Quakers from the colony. She is one of the four executed Quakers known as the Boston martyrs. (By Howard Pyle)