Witches, Bread and LSD: The Story of Ergot

ergotIllustration by Lisk Feng.

Some anthropologists theorize that the murderous mania of the Salem Witch Trials wasn’t caused by religious panic or hectic politics. They blame ergot, a grain fungus that causes paranoia, hallucinations and convulsions—the same symptoms that were thought to be caused by “bewitchment.”

Read the whole story–an interview with me!–on Hopes and Fears HERE.

2 Responses to “Witches, Bread and LSD: The Story of Ergot”


  • Hi – fascinating post. Would you mind if I linked to it on my FaceBook page?

    I’m working on a book about the history of wheat — your blog has a great wealth of well-researched material. Would you mind if I quoted from it on occasion?

    Thank you — Teri Carns, Wheatavore

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