Belief in witchcraft has been shown to have similarities in societies around the world. It provides a framework for explaining the occurrence of otherwise random misfortunes such as illness or death, and the sorcerer sorcerer provides a picture of evil.  Reports on indigenous practices in the Americas, Asia, and Africa collected at the beginning of the modern period of research suggest that not only belief in witchcraft, but also the periodic triggering of witch hunts is a human cultural universality.  In Denmark, the burning of witches increased after the Reformation of 1536. Christian IV of Denmark, in particular, encouraged the practice, and hundreds of people were convicted of witchcraft and burned. Between 1600 and 1692, serious witch trials took place in Finnmark County in northern Norway.  An international monument, the Steilneset Memorial, was erected to commemorate the victims of the Finnish witch trials.  In England, the Witchcraft Act of 1542 regulated penalties for witchcraft. In the North Berwick witch trials in Scotland, more than 70 people were charged with witchcraft for bad weather when James VI of Scotland, who shared the Danish king`s interest in witch trials, traveled to Denmark in 1590 to meet his fiancée Anne of Denmark. According to a widely circulated pamphlet “Newes from Scotland”, James VI personally directed the torture and execution of Dr. Fian.
 In fact, James published a textbook on witch-hunting, Daemonology, which contains the famous saying: “Daily experience proves how despicable they are without confessing to torture. Later, the Pendle witch trials of 1612 joined the ranks of the most famous witch trials in English history.  The practice of witch-hunting under Santhals was more brutal than in Europe. Unlike in Europe, where witches were strangled before being burned, the Santhals forced them.” to eat human feces and drink blood before it is thrown into the flames.  Clare GAA`s secretary, Pat Fitzgerald, attacked a perceived “witch hunt” within the association. (Clare Echo) In today`s language, “witch hunt” metaphorically means an investigation usually conducted with a lot of publicity, supposedly to expose subversive activities, disloyalty, etc., but with the real purpose of intimidating political opponents.  It can also include elements of moral panic or mass hysteria.  The resurgence of witch hunts in the late Middle Ages, which took place with at least partial or at least tolerant support from the Church, was accompanied by a number of developments in Christian doctrine, such as the recognition of the existence of witchcraft as a form of satanic influence and its characterization as heresy. As Renaissance occultism gained prominence among the educated classes, belief in witchcraft, which had at best been a part of the popular religion of the uneducated rural population in the Middle Ages, was incorporated into an increasingly comprehensive theology of Satan as the ultimate source of all maleficium. [f] [g] These doctrinal changes were completed in the mid-15th century, particularly in the wake of the Council of Basel, and focused on the Duchy of Savoy in the Western Alps, which began in the second half of the 15th century. In the nineteenth century, witch trials were brought before secular and ecclesiastical courts.
[i] Witch hunts in modern times are constantly reported by UNHCR to the UN as a massive violation of human rights. Most of the accused are women and children, but may also be elderly or marginalized community groups such as albinos and HIV-infected people.  These victims are often seen as a burden on the community and, as a result, are often displaced, starved, or violently killed, sometimes by their own families in acts of social cleansing.  The causes of the witch hunt include poverty, epidemics, social crises, and lack of education. The head of the witch hunt, often a prominent figure in the community or a “wizard,” may also gain economic benefit by demanding an exorcism or selling body parts of those murdered.   Among the Bantu tribes of southern Africa, witches` odorants were responsible for tracking witches.