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My area (near NYC at the time) may have gotten a disproportionate amount of hype. This is what that great rag of the Plutocracy, the Wall Street Journal had to say:
From my perspective, the U.S. appears to be witnessing its third great wave of hysteria. The first, the Salem Witch Trials, in 1692, lasted only a few months. Nineteen people were hanged before it became apparent that the accusations were suspect. In the 1950s, at the time of the McCarthy hearings, hysteria over the communist threat resulted in the destruction of many careers. Our current hysteria [the so-called "Satanic Panic"], which began in the early 1980s, is by far the worst with regard to the number of lives that have been destroyed and families that have disintegrated.
Granted, the dude may be exaggerating somewhat, but the scare was no little thing (supposedly, Geraldo's TV special on Satanic activity was the most widely-viewed documentary ever aired on NBC).
So, yeah, pretty sure it wasn't as big as McCarthy, but as Comrade Doodle points out, far more bizarre: as far as I know, no one accused Communist sympathizers of flushing kids down the toilet into an underground Satanic abuse cavern, forcing them to watch giraffes being beheaded before raping them with knives, and then magically healing them and cleaning them up so that it appeared nothing happened -- and have people actually take those allegations seriously.