The people, who were affected by the disease most in the city of Salem, were the citizens who were named to be “witches” by the young girls. The girls who were afflicted by the disease ranged between the ages of four to upper teens. Magoon says that the girls started having “disturbing fits” (6)
What is believed to be the reason for what triggered the ‘fits is called Egotism. Egotism is a disease which is produced by the fungus Ergot. Ergot is a fungus which forms in grains and grasses, mostly in damp, warm and rainy environments. The conditions of Salem were identical to this, which formed ergot in the cities crops. Ergot contains lysergic acid. Lysergic acid affects the central nervous system. Since the nervous system is affected it causes the many symptoms the girls from Salem showed.
Some recorded actions of the girls were: cursing uncontrollably, barking and their eyes rolling back into their head, twisting their arms and legs unnaturally, seizures, temporarily being paralyzed, screaming, throwing things, and falling down. Egotism also causes “hallucinations and other symptoms similar to those of the Salem girls.” (Magoon, 81) Many of the girls claimed to feel a pricking sensation, to see hallucinations, and complain of a fever. The girls also appeared to have bite