Tag Archives: witch trials

Salem Witch Execution Site Found

Gallows Hill, Salem, 1861, Witch Trials

Never before have I dedicated a post to an article I didn’t write, but this one is right up my alley–probably up yours, too, if you read this blog regularly. The site where 19 victims were executed during the Salem witch trials has been confirmed. Here’s an excerpt from the Salem News article:

The Gallows Hill Project prepared a series of questions and answers explaining how they confirmed Proctor’s Ledge as the execution site for accused witches.

How did they pin down the site?

Marilynne Roach discovered a few key lines of eyewitness testimony in a Salem witch trials court record from Aug. 19, 1692. … The record quotes the defendant Rebecca Eames, who had been on her way to the court in the custody of her guards and traveled along the Boston Road, which ran just below the execution site.

A few hours later, she appeared the Salem court for her preliminary examination. The magistrate asked Eames whether she had witnessed the execution that took place earlier that morning as she was passing by. She explained that she was at “the house below the hill” and that she saw some “folks” at the execution. Roach determined that the “house below the hill” was most likely the McCarter House, or one of its neighbors on Boston Street. The McCarter house was still standing in 1890 at 19 Boston St.

 

Read the rest of the article here! (No, seriously, do it–it’s awesome.)

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Dreams in the Witch House: Five Things I Learned in Salem’s Oldest Home

Salem Witch House, Salem, Massachusetts

When Judge Jonathan Corwin moved into the big black house at the corner of North and Summer in Salem’s Chestnut Street District, I doubt he had any inkling of its future place in history.

“Now here’s a place that’ll never be associated with anything unsavory,” he probably said to himself.

“Especially not witch trials,” he likely added.

Three-hundred-fifty years later, we know just how wrong he was. The Witch House is the only extant building with a direct link to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, a tragic bout of mass hysteria during which 19 people were killed and dozens more imprisoned. I visited the Witch House for the second time last weekend. Here are some of the things I learned. Continue reading