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Between (at least) the 14th and 18th centuries, societies across Europe and colonial America could be convulsed by such an acute fear of the existence and exercise of demonic powers within their communities that the authorities for law and order became involved.
Court records are crucial - though not the sole - evidence of these waves of panic, and the consequences which could befall those found guilty.
It is feared that at least 60,000 people may have been executed as a result - women possibly accounting for 80% of those condemned.
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