My wife, daughter and I visited there maybe 18 years or so ago and I loved it. It was one of my favorite places to visit during our east coast swing.
It was kind of weird walking through the area knowing there were modern day witches walking there as well. I think I became fascinated with witches from watching “Bewitched”. Samantha was a awfully cute witch and I used to get mad at Darrin for not letting her use her witchcraft to conjure up a meal or nice vacation or something.
Kind of like how I felt about “I Dream of Jeannie”. But that’s another story.
In the late 1600s, hysteria swept this sleepy New England town and resulted in the deaths of many accused “witches.” It started with a couple of young girls. The girls screamed, threw things all around the room, and uttered strange sounds; at least according to Rev. Deodat Lawson, who was a former minister in the town. The girls also complained of pricked with pins and of being pinched.
When a local physician was unable to find a physical problem, the witch accusations began and kept spreading. I highly recommend you read the story as it is very fascinating.
The judges and witnesses involved in these trials have all died mysterious deaths, and the ghosts of all that were involved are said to haunt nearly every place in Salem. The hangings of these “witches” have left an eerie stain on American history and transformed Salem into one of the most haunted cities in America.
is an elegant restaurant which, at one time, was once the home of Bridgette Bishop. Bridgette is one of the most famous “witches” that was hung in Salem. She has been seen in the windows and on the landing of the stairways, dressed in clothing from the period. It is said that computers malfunction for no apparent reason, and EVPs have recorded her blaming her death on Mary Wilcott.
Construction workers have witnessed cinder blocks flying down the stairs and one couple’s wedding photos, which were taken at the Lyceum, reportedly reveal images of Bishop. There are also reports saying Bishop haunts The Witch House, the former home of Judge Jonathan Corwin. Corwin is the man who personally sent many of the “witches” to their demise.
Strange shapes are also being seen in photos taken there and some say they have heard Bishop talking about her apple orchard on EVPs.
The Joshua Ward House
is another site with unexplained happenings. The Ward house belonged to the sheriff who caused the crushing death of Giles Corey by piling heavy stones on him while trying to get a confession., His spirit still stays there to this day.
Candles have been removed from their holders and melted; trash cans have been tossed, and drops in temperature are very common. Some claim to have seen an old man sitting by the fireplace, and photos taken there have shown numerous odd results.
Howard Street Cemetery
Corey supposedly also haunts the Howard Street Cemetery and his spirit is reported to appear just before disasters, which is supposed to be a part of the curse he placed on Salem before he died.
Saint Mary’s Cemetery
Howard Street Cemetery isn’t the only haunted graveyard in Salem. Saint Mary’s Cemetery is also reported to be a haunted place with spirits. Strange noises such as a dog walking on cement plus mysterious lights have been witnessed. Visitors say there is an eerie feeling of evil throughout the place and they feel they are being watched.
The Hawthorne Hotel
was named for the famous writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, This is also another location in Salem that is riddled with ghosts. Guests have claimed that a ship’s wheel in the hotel will move on its own with no one near it, and that it continues to move even when attempts are made to stop it.
An employee said that the rooms were rearranged overnight while he was working there, and he later refused to ever work the night shift again. Good call. The elevator is supposedly haunted as well, and chandeliers will sway with no sound and for no apparent reason.
Salem is the home of many tortured souls, and it’s clear that they won’t be leaving any time soon. “Witch City” has plenty of attractions for ghost-lovers, and you won’t need a tour to see some very lively spirits.
We did take in a stage reenactment while we were there. They acted out the accusations that started the whole witches thing and it was pretty eerie and thought provoking. After that we went in the basement where cells were still in the original condition they were in when accused witches were jailed there.
There were models of witches in the cells that looked real and one cell kept producing screams from many of the tourists. I don’t want to give it away but definitely visit this if you are ever in Salem.
Salem is so full of stories that I will be doing more stories for you at another time.