this is from the crucible and i know the other questions answer about why do the putnams start talking about witchcraft.
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Puritans in Salem look for all kinds of "clues" for witchcraft. People are supposed to know their commandments of the Bible. People found reading books other than the Bible were condemned. People worshipping any "false" idols were witches. Mumbling was looked down on. Of course, once the hysteria takes hold, most any accusation against someone could be construed as witch related.