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Warren also claimed that the specters of both Parker and Ann Pudeator had brought poppets to her in jail and encouraged her to stick pins in them to torment others. She went on to say that Parker had confessed to attending a witches’ “Bloody Sacrament” in Reverend Parris’s pasture. Another neighbor, John Westgate, told of Parker storming into Samuel Beadle’s Tavern to argue with her husband about his drinking. Westgate claimed he had tried to calm her, Alice told him to mind his own business, and later that night, the specter of a huge pig had followed him home from the tavern. Samuel and Sarah Shattuck also believed that Alice Parker, along with her friend Bridget Bishop, had bewitched their son and caused his declining health. Even Reverend Nicholas Noyes testified against Parker, recalling previous conversations with her (a member of his congregation) and feelings that she may indeed have been practicing witchcraft.


Mary Warren, in particular, had a personal reason to go after Alice Parker. Years before, Alice had asked Warren’s father to help mow her grass – presumably, hay to be harvested to feed her livestock through the winter. Perhaps her husband was at sea, and she needed the help. Mr. Warren was unable to perform the task. This led to an angry visit from Alice Parker to the Warren household, complaining of his lack of assistance. Mary Warren never forgot it, especially because her mother and sister fell ill shortly after this turbulent encounter. Her mother died not long after (possibly of small pox) and although her sister survived, she was left deaf and dumb from her illness. Warren blamed Alice Parker for the rest of her life.


Alice Parker was condemned on September 9 and hanged with seven others on Proctor’s Ledge at Gallows Hill on September 22, the last execution day of the trials. Alice Parker was one of the last to have her conviction reversed, by legislation passed in 2001.


Additional note: Alice Parker may have suffered from catalepsy, an ailment that caused her to experience sudden unconsciousness. She would be found on the ground, stiff and seemingly dead, only to recover later. In January of 1692, she was found by neighbors, unconscious in the snow. Although catalepsy was a known condition, some felt that this might be witchcraft, as folklore claimed that witches could leave their bodies and move about in spirit form.


Approximately opposite 54-58 Derby Street, behind the fence of the Salem Harbor Power Station.