Witchcraft Act of 1562
While it seemed like the fear of witches was a new idea in Salem, 1629, the idea was anything but new. In 1562, the English Parliament enacted the Witchcraft Act, which made the practice of witchcraft illegal.
This was an effective way for a man to get rid of an unwanted wife during 16th century England. As colonies began to form in America, some traditions and values from England sailed over the sea with the new colonist. Apparently, witchcraft and the fear of it was not left behind.