Girls Just Want to Have Fun.
In the 1600s, being a woman meant that you were more than likely one of the Devil’s brides. For thousands of years, it was believed that women were more naïve, and therefore more open to sins, than men. Sinning is, of course, a clear indication of Devil worship. Take Salem, for example. There were five men and a staggering thirteen women convicted of witchcraft. This is the case throughout history. Women were considered to be closer to the Devil than men.
Being Poor Is a Mark of the Devil.
The poor were considered to be bottom feeders who had to rely on their community for support. This meant they were an easy target when accused of witchcraft. Sarah Good, hanged in 1692, was hated by her fellow townsfolk. Her crime? She begged for food.
Being Rich and Female Is a Mark of the Devil.
Just as being poor was a sure case of Devil worship, being a female, who lived without the help or supervision of a man could cause the townsfolk to turn around and call you a witch. Between 1620 and 1725, 89 percent of those executed for witchcraft were female, and a high percentage of them were wealthy (or comfortable) females without brothers, husbands or sons.
Falling Out with Your Friends.
Just the sight of Matthew Hopkins or John Searne could inspire such terror in a community that it never took long for women to accuse each other of witchcraft. Hopkins and Searne were the foremost witchfinders and took delight in seeing a community ripped apart. It was commonly believed that it was easier for women to root out fellow witches than for men to discover them.
Falling Out in General.
Pick a town in 1692 in America. Your enemy has just married the man you love. The man you love has fallen in love with the woman you hate. How can you get even? You can accuse that woman of witchcraft. All you have to do is go to the witchfinder and explain that you saw that woman flying naked on a broomstick, or that she looked at you the wrong way, or that she jabbed you with her elbow… or any number of lies. She would be tried, more than likely found guilty, and hung.
Just Being Old.
Older women, unmarried or married, were commonly accused of witchcraft. Rebecca Nurse was a 70-year-old invalid when she was accused by her neighbors of being a witch. Her immobility didn’t save her from her supposed crime. She was tried, convicted and put to death.