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Salem Witch Trials

A guide to resources concerning the Salem Witch Trials at the BPL and beyond.

Not Just Salem

While the hysteria had it's roots in Salem Village and Salem Town, more and more villages and towns became "afflicted" as time went on:

 (click on image to see full size)Amesbury- 1 accused & executed (Susannah Martin)
Andover (now North Andover)- 40 accused, 3 executed (Martha Carrier, Mary Parker, Samuel Wardwell)
Beverly- 6 accused
Billerica- at least 4 accused
Boxford- 3 accused
Gloucester- 17 accused
Haverhill- 5 accused
Ipswich- 7 accused
Lynn- 8 accused
Malden- 3 accused
Marblehead- 1 accused & executed (Wilmot Redd)
Peabody (part of Salem Town in 1692)- 5 accused, 3 executed (Giles & Martha Corey, John Proctor)
Reading- 6 accused
Rowley- 5 accused, 1 executed (Margaret Scott)
Salem Town (now Salem)- many accused, 4 executed (Bridget Bishop, Alice Parker, Ann Pudeator, John Willard)
Salem Village (now Danvers)- many accused, 3 executed (Sarah Good, George Jacobs, Sr., Rebecca Nurse)
Salisbury- 1 accused
Topsfield- 6 accused, 3 executed (Mary Easty, Sarah Wildes, Elizabeth Howe)
Wenham- 1 accused

Image Credit:
Map of Salem Village, 1692
(click on map for full-size image)

Proctor's Ledge/Gallows Hill

In January of 2016, a group of scholars forming the Gallows Hill Project at Salem State University announced that they had determined the location of the executions of the 19 people that were hung during the trials. Known as Proctor’s Ledge, the site was a rocky ledge on the lower slope of Gallow’s Hill, bordered by Proctor and Pope Streets in Salem. The area had been suspected to be the execution site for many years.

A memorial to the executed was constructed on the hill and formally dedicated on July 19, 2017, the 325th anniversary of the executions of Rebecca Nurse, Sarah Good, Elizabeth Howe, Susannah Martin, and Sarah Wildes. 


Proctor's Ledge Memorial
7 Pope Street, Salem MA 01970
Photo by BPL Staff, 7 November 2022
Click on image to see full-size

The Witch House

The so-called “Witch House” was the home of Jonathan Corwin, who served as a judge during the trials, from 1675 until his death in 1718. Contrary to the name and popular rumor, there is no evidence that any of the accused witches were ever brought to the house for questioning or trial. It is the only building still standing in Salem with direct ties to the trials.

Image Credit:
The Witch House, Salem 
13 November 2016
Photo by BPL employee
Click on image to see full-size

The Witch House- Official website for the Witch House in Salem, MA.

Rebecca Nurse Homestead

Located in what is now Danvers, Massachusetts. Nurse’s family supposedly secretly took her body there after her execution in order to give her a proper burial.

Image Credit:
7. Historic American Buildings Survey
Frank O. Branzetti, Photographer
June 20, 1940
(b) EXT.-VIEW OF HOUSE, LOOKING SOUTHWEST - Rebecca Nurse Place, 149 Pine Street, Danvers, Essex County, MA 
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

The Rebecca Nurse Homestead- Official website of historical site.

 

First Church of Salem

The First Church in Salem was founded in 1629, making it one of the oldest churches in North America. Salem Village's church splintered off from the Salem Town's church in 1678 when the village was founded. The congregation would re-join Salem Town's church in the 20th century.

Image Credit:
First Church in Salem Village
Excerpt from New England Magazine, volume 5 (1892)

First Church in Salem, FAQ & Salem Witch Hysteria

Salem Village Parsonage

The foundations of the Salem Village parsonage, where the Parris family lived during the hysteria, were discovered during an excavation of the site in 1970. The exposed foundations are accessible via a cart path behind 76 Centre Street in Danvers.

Image Credit:
Addition to Salem Village Parsonage built after Parris’ departure
Excerpt from “Witchcraft in Salem Village in 1692 : together with some account of other witchcraft prosecutions in New England and elsewhere" by Winfield S. Nevins, 1892

Salem Village- From the National Park Service's "Places Where Women Made History" guide.