Something wicked was brewing in the small town of Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692. It started when two girls, Betty Parris and Abigail Williams, began having hysterical fits. Soon after, other local girls claimed they were being pricked with pins. With no scientific explanation available, the residents of Salem came to one conclusion: it was witchcraft! Over the next year and a half, 19 people were convicted of witchcraft and hanged while more languished in prison as hysteria swept the colony. Series Information With straightforward language and illustrations on nearly every page, the What Was…? series invites kids to explore history through the lens of pivotal events. Each book describes the causes of an event, introduces the people involved, and explains how the outcomes impacted the nation. The books also include maps, timelines, and 16 pages of photos.