Death and misery

The Witch Craze is a consequence of the great social and economic trouble of the times. Epidemics, wars, hunger that brought death, pain and misery to the population had to be explained one way or the other.

For the Church and the countrypeople, it was the Devil and its disciples who were responsible for such events.

The Crusade of the Pastoureaux in France brought thousands of children to Bourges where most have been executed. The Black Plague in 1348 triggers an outburst of witchcraft in Provence and especially in the Queyras.

Then we found other examples as the religion wars in the XVIth, the Jacquerie of the “va-nus-pieds” (barefoot from the nickname of the leader, Jacques va-nus-pieds) in Normandy in 1639.

Crop failures often correlated with the occurrence of witchhunts, leading some sociologists to suggest that communities often find scapegoats about a lack of food on community members (witches) who were unpopular or marginalized.

This was later used in history the Nazi propaganda against Jews who were held responsible for economic problems.