According to Wikipedia:
“Witchcraft, in various historical, anthropological, religious, and mythological contexts, is the alleged use of supernatural or magical powers.
"Historically, it was widely believed that witchcraft involved the use of these powers to inflict harm upon members of a community or their property.”
Because of this largely accepted scary idea (propaganda?) that witches use unexplainable powers to hurt people, witch-hunting was both common and legally sanctioned in Europe for 300 years, reaching its fever pitch from around 1550-1650 - during which time thousands of alleged witches were found guilty.
“Are you a good witch, or a bad witch?”
- Glenda in The Wizard of Oz
Given the huge number of the accused who were killed, this witch-hunting fever has, in retrospect, been diagnosed by psychology professionals as mass hysteria. Many view it as a form of gendercide, since it was (not all, but mostly) women who were targeted.