Although the tale of Abigail Williams’s jealous desire to possess John Proctor is interesting, and the stuff of soap operas, it has no basis in historical fact. The truth is that historians are still trying to come up with explanations for why an entire community of devout believers (who were not normally violent) might have become bloodthirsty moralizers, intent on sniffing out the evil in their midst. Here are a few historical inaccuracies, according to Margo Burns: Betty Parris’s mother was still alive; there is no hard evidence that Abigail Williams was Parris’s niece, though she may have been a relative; there never was any wild dancing in the woods, and the Rev. Parris never caught the girls dancing in the woods; in 1692, the Putnams had six children, and they were all alive. You can read the full list of inaccuracies here.