LSD and the Witch Trials: Unraveling the Fungal Connection
An interesting chapter in history is the Salem witch trials of 1692. While the trial's roots lie in various factors, one fascinating aspect is the potential influence of fungi, specifically ergot, which contaminated the wheat supply. This contamination played a significant role in the hysteria experienced by the people in Salem, leading to the infamous witch trials.
Ergot is a fungal parasite that commonly affects cereal crops, particularly rye and wheat. This fungus produces a group of compounds called ergot alkaloids, one of which is the precursor to lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Consumption of bread made from contaminated grain can lead to ergotism, a condition characterised by hallucinations, convulsions, and other neurological symptoms. These symptoms, combined with the prevailing societal beliefs of the time, may have contributed to the delusions and mass hysteria surrounding witchcraft in Salem.
This information provides deeper understanding into the complexity of the witch trials and helps us to contextualise what was going on at that time. If we experienced mass drugging with hallucinogenic drugs today, what would be the outcome?
This painting explores this theme through my own crazy brain connections using highly saturated psychedelic colours, random images and visually confusing distorted lines.