Medical explanations of bewitchment  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Medical explanations of bewitchment, especially as exhibited during the Salem witch trials but in other witch-hunts as well, have emerged because it is not widely believed today that symptoms of those claiming affliction were actually caused by bewitchment. The reported symptoms have been explored by a variety of researchers for possible biological and psychological origins.

Modern academic historians of witch-hunts generally consider medical explanations to explain the phenomenon. Besides, it's believed that the accusers in Salem were motivated by social factors – jealousy, spite, or a need for attention – and that the extreme behaviors exhibited were "counterfeit," as contemporary critics of the trials had suspected.

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