Bridget Bishop was not the first to be accused of witchcraft but she was the first to be executed for the crime in 1692. At the time of the trials, she was married to her third husband, the elderly sawyer Edward Bishop. When arrested, Bridget was living on the property she inherited from her second husband Thomas Oliver, on present-day Washington Street in Salem Town.
Set back from Washington Street is the beautiful Federal style home built for the successful merchant Joshua Ward in 1784. The property has older connections that date back to the witchcraft trials. Today, visitors can still see ragged stones along the building’s foundation, which are all that remain of the 1692 home of George Corwin.
Judge John Hathorne was one of the most vocal participants during the Salem witchcraft trials. Judge Hathorne lived south of the Town House/Salem Courthouse in 1692, on present-day Washington Street, a short walk from home to court.
Just down the street from the Reverend John Higginson’s property (where the Salem Witch Museum is today) was the home of his son, Captain John Higginson Jr. He was sworn in as a new Salem magistrate in July of 1692.
The only structure still standing in Salem that has a direct connection to the witchcraft trials and is open to the public is the Witch House, on the corner of Essex and North Streets. This home, built circa 1675, was the residence of Judge Jonathan Corwin in 1692.
By 1692, widow Mary Gedney was licensed to “sell drink out-of-doors” from this home, earning money that helped support her children. Mary Gedney, as well as her sister-in-law, both provided refreshments for the jurors and witnesses during the Salem witch trials.
The Old Burying Point Cemetery, also known as the Charter Street Cemetery, is the oldest cemetery in Salem, and one of the oldest in the United States. Opened in 1637, it is the final resting place of several Salem notables. (King’s Chapel Burying Ground in Boston is the oldest, founded in 1630.)
In 1692, convicted witches would be picked up at the jail, loaded into a cart, and escorted to the execution site by High Sheriff George Corwin, who would sign their death warrants. The path led south on Prison Lane (today St. Peter Street), right on Main Street (today Essex Street) heading west to the edge of town.
A simple memorial, designed by landscape architect Martha Lyon, was dedicated on July 19, 2017, the 325th anniversary of the hangings of Sarah Good, Elizabeth Howe, Susannah Martin, Rebecca Nurse, and Sarah Wildes. Embedded in the semi-circular wall are stones engraved with the names of the nineteen victims.
Reverend John Higginson Home, Site of/Salem Witch Museum
In 1692, the property where the museum and one building on each side stand today belonged to Reverend John Higginson. At 76, Reverend Higginson was the elderly minister of Salem. His adult daughter, Ann Dolliver, was accused of witchcraft during the hysteria, and imprisoned.
This church was established In 1733 largely through the support of the wealthy Salem merchant Philip English. English was accused of witchcraft in 1692, but ultimately escaped from prison and fled to New York to wait out the witch trials.
In 1692, the Salem jail was located on Prison Lane, today known as St. Peter Street. The building, at the corner of Prison Lane and County Street (present-day Federal Street) measured “thirteen feet stud, and twenty feet square, accommodated with a yard.”
Located just off Charter Street, on Liberty Street, is Salem’s simple yet dramatic memorial to the 20 victims of the witch trials of 1692. This memorial was erected to mark the 300th anniversary of the Salem witch trials. The Witch Trials Memorial was dedicated on August 5, 1992 by Nobel Laureate, Holocaust survivor, and author Elie Wiesel, who noted, “If I can’t stop all of the hate all over the world in all of the people, I can stop it in one place within me,” adding, “We still have our Salems.”
The House of the Seven Gables/Turner-Ingersoll Mansion
In 1668, sea captain John Turner built a multi-room house on the Salem waterfront. This house eventually came into the possession of Susanna Ingersoll, who was often visited at her home by her younger cousin, Nathaniel Hawthorne.
There were many taverns in Salem in 1692, two of which were owned by the Beadle brothers, Thomas and Samuel. It was in Thomas Beadle’sTavern, on the south side of Main Street (present-day Essex Street) and east of Salem Common that some of the accused were detained.
In 1692, North Andover was known simply as “Andover.” It became embroiled in the witchcraft in July 1692 when Joseph Ballard brought several of the afflicted girls there to determine the cause of his wife’s illness.
Hale built this house in 1694 and lived here until his death on 15 May 1700. A graduate of Harvard College in 1657, Hale became minister of the First Church in Beverly in 1665, a position he held for over thirty years.
Samuel Sewall, a justice on the Court of Oyer and Terminer, is buried beneath a red sandstone table stone in the northwest portion of the cemetery (Plate 18). The stone’s surface is inscribed: “Honl. Judge Sewall’s Tomb Now the property of his Heirs Philip R. Ridgway 1810 Ralph Huntington 1812 No. 185 Ralph Huntington.”
Located at the intersection of Tremont and School Streets. Two people connected with the witchcraft are buried here. Also remembered here are: Major General Wait Still Winthrop, Thomas Brattle, and Thomas Newton
House owned by Benjamin and Sarah Houlten. Following an argument with Rebecca Nurse in 1689, Benjamin became gravely ill and ultimately passed away. Though not formally accused at the time, Sarah Houlten blamed Rebecca Nurse for her husband’s death, and testified against her during the 1692 witchcraft trials.
Joseph Houlton was an important landowner and member of the Salem Village community. In 1692, Houlton, his wife Sarah, and their son Joseph Houlton Jr. all signed a petition in support of their neighbor Rebecca Nurse, defending her against witchcraft accusations.
Built in 1681 by innkeeper Thomas Haines, this house was occupied by Haines and his wife Sarah until 1703. Thomas Haines was one of the villagers to post bail for Reverend George Burroughs following his arrest for debt, and was later involved in the trial of William Hobbs and the case of Daniel Wilkins mysterious death.
A decade after the 1626 founding of Salem on the north coast of Massachusetts, a group of colonists fanned out to the north and west, five-to-seven miles from the coast, and established what came to be known as Salem Village. In January of 1692, two girls who lived in the village parsonage became “afflicted,” sparking what would become the Salem witchcraft hysteria. In 1752, Salem Village was renamed Danvers, for settler Danvers Osborn, and was officially incorporated as the town of Danvers in 1757.
The initial events of the 1692 witch trials took place in Salem Village, modern-day Danvers, and many of those initially involved lived in this area. The Witchcraft Victims’ Memorial was erected in Danvers in 1992 to pay tribute to the individuals who lost their lives during the witch hysteria of 1692.
Site of Second Meetinghouse/First Church of Danvers
The new meetinghouse, built in 1701, was the site where reconciliation began following the witchcraft trials of 1692. It was here where Ann Putnam Jr. offered apologies to the congregation for her role in the trials, fourteen years later, at the age of 29.
Nearby neighbors of both the meetinghouse and the parsonage, Mary Sibley and her husband both held brief, yet important, roles in the witchcraft delusion. Most significantly, it was Mary who suggested the baking of a witch-cake to John Indian, an act of folk magic intended to discover who was tormenting the girls.
Near the corner of Hobart and Forest Streets, across from the Danvers Witchcraft Victims’ Memorial, is the site of the first meetinghouse of Salem Village. This was the scene of numerous examinations of accused witches.
Ingersoll’s ordinary (tavern) was a hub for the Salem Village community. The first three to be accused of witchcraft in 1692 were scheduled to be examined at the ordinary (though the proceedings were ultimately moved to the meetinghouse to accommodate the substantial crowds). Throughout the witch trials, both accusers and accused interacted here. The earliest part of the building that stands today was built circa 1670.
17-year-old Mary Walcott was one of the initial quartet of girls to exhibit signs of affliction in early 1692. Living just a few hundred years north of the parsonage, Mary became afflicted in March of 1692 and remained a principle accuser throughout the trials.
In this ancient cemetery, beneath an imposing marble table stone adorned with skulls, lies buried William Stoughton, the chief justice of the Court of Oyer and Terminer. Stoughton was born in 1631 and graduated from Harvard College in 1650.
Our tour of the 1692 Salem witchcraft trials sites visits locations around Essex County and a few key sites in and around Boston that are related to the events of that year.
You may click on the town and city names on the map below or on the left to view pictures (where available) and read about the sites in these locations. This section contains descriptions of the sites from the witchcraft trials which can still be seen today, including original houses, foundations, grave sites, and sites marked by historic markers.
To give you an idea of the proximity of one site to another, we have also included the approximate locations of the homes of key figures that are no longer standing and have provided additional information about the roles these people played in 1692.