Kathryn Lindsay
March 09, 2016 10:02 am
David Levenson/Getty Images

The history of the wizarding world is just as vast and storied as our own, and thanks to J.K. Rowling, we’re getting even closer to understanding it. The iconic author has been releasing mini histories of the American rise of wizardry over on Pottermore, likely in anticipation of the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie. The most recent period she is covering is something with which we’re already familiar: the Salem witch trials.

While we’ve all studied the Salem witch trials from a Muggle perspective (or No-Maj, as the Americans called them), turns out things were just as tense in the wizarding community, thanks to a group of wizards called “Scourers.”

“The last, and probably the most dangerous problem encountered by wizards newly arrived in North America were the Scourers,” J.K. wrote, continuing:

Because of the Scourers, the Salem witch trials were dangerous not just for non-magic folk, but for real witches as well.

These horrifying events (of which not much is certain, especially since the Harry Potter books described witches being burned at the stake as simply feeling “light ticking sensation”) caused many to flee from the area, and witches stopped relocating to Salem altogether.

After the formation of the Magical Congress of the United States of America, the Scourers were put on trial, and those convicted were executed. However, others went into hiding, raising their No-Maj children to have an extreme hatred of magic. That’s something we could never understand, and we’re worried for what that could mean for Newt Scamander when we see him in action later this year.

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