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Caporael, now a behavioral psychologist at New York's Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, soon noticed a link between the strange symptoms reported by Salem's accusers, chiefly eight young women, and the hallucinogenic effects of drugs like '___'. '___' is a derivative of ergot, a fungus that affects rye grain. Ergotism -- ergot poisoning -- had indeed been implicated in other outbreaks of bizarre behavior, such as the one that afflicted the small French town of Pont-Saint-Esprit in 1951.