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During the times in which "The Crucible" takes place, the Puritans believed in a very literal interpretation of the Bible. The Bible is very clear that the source of witchcraft is from the devil and is to be avoided at all cost. In Deuteronomy 18:10 the people are told "“There shall not be found among you anyone who ... practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer. . . According to that belief, the charge of witchcraft was taken very seriously. That's why at least 19 people died in Salem, accused of practicing witchcraft and consorting with the devil. In popular culture today, the witch is often seen as a some kind of cartoon figure. Many people dress as witches on Halloween and pretend they are evil characters. On the other hand, some modern day people actually claim to be witches. Instead of executing them, popular documentaries are made about them and people see them as something of an oddity. Modern witches today usually do not claim any power from the devil, but instead claim their power comes from the earth or the universe. However, in order to be fair to your question, there are still many people in this country who believe the Bible should still be taken literally and feel much the same way about witches as the Puritans did.
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