“The accusing girls, being thought to have the power to answer ‘who was a witch?’ gave them great importance, gratified their vanity and pride, and exalted them to the character of prophetesses.
The writer C. S. Lewis said, “Pride and the poisoned conscience it created functioned as the engine of the world’s woes. Unchallenged, it led to a ruthless, sleepless, unsmiling concentration upon self, which is the mark of Hell.”
Besides the young women who “cried out” witches, other citizens of Salem and surrounding towns who also testified undoubtedly suffered from the flaw of vanity. Considering the self as all-important, exceptional and superior in appearance, intelligence, character or spiritual worth leaves little room for empathy or understanding of others. In such persons, prejudice, suspicion, fear of the other and hatred are likely to prevail.