Moral panics, or instances of mass hysteria, have occurred throughout history. Two of the most notorious are the Salem Witch Trials of the 1690s and the Satanic Panic of the 1980s and '90s.
The panics almost exclusively involve women and children and fears for their safety, especially from sexual abuse.
1. Due Process Goes Out The Window
2. “Believe The Victim”
3. Misleading And Faulty Statistics
4. Evidence, Schmevidence
5. Pseudo-Scientific Theories About Memory Reign Supreme
"Believe The Victim" may be the biggest tell of a moral panic. An accusation, we’re told, is sufficient enough. During the McMartin preschool episode, parents formed a group called “Believe the Children,” even though no evidence of the alleged abuse existed.