Category Archives: salem Witch Trials

Witch House (Salem, MA)

Date Of Visit: October 1, 2017

Location: 310 1/2 Essex Street, Salem, MA (about 10 minutes north of Boston, MA)

Hours: Open March 15-November 15, daily 10am-5pm
Call for Winter Hours / Extended Hours in October


Guided House Tour
Adult $10.25 Senior $ 8.25 Child (7-14) $ 6.25
Self-guided House Tour
Adult $8.25 Senior$6.25 Child (6-14) $4.25 Children Under 6 are free

Parking: there is street parking (75 cents for a maximum of 4 hours) if you get there early.  Otherwise, there are several parking lots and garages that charge $20 for the entire day of parking.  Generally, I park at the Museum Place Mall at Church St since it is closest to all of the attractions in Salem and within walking distance to the Witch House

Handicapped Accessible: No

Dog Friendly: No, although service dogs may be allowed

Website: The Witch House

Highlights: historical artifacts, knowledgeable staff, actual home of “with hunter” Judge Johnathan Corwin


  • The entrance is in the rear of the building (off North St)


“It’s October”, a passerby yelped to a disgruntled driver as he barely squeezed his sedan into the last available street parking spot.

Yup, it’s that time of the year again in Salem, Mass.

Although Salem has proven itself to be so much more than just an autumn destination, fall is still Salem’s biggest time of the year.

It’s unfortunate much of the draw to Salem is related t the witch hunt of 1692.  However, it does provide a learning opportunity and it also gives us a chance to remember the past in the hopes it won’t happen again.

One of the best places to get a no frills education about the Salem Witch Trials is the Witch House on Essex St., just one mile away from the actual hanging spot of these accused witches.

The last standing building directly related to the Salem Witch Trials, the Witch House has a dark, storied history.

As I walked around the house I couldn’t help but think of the innocent people who had been tortured into confessing and the backdoor deals that were made to avoid being accused or convicted of being a witch.  In this very room, John and Elizabeth’s (his wife) parlor or best room, people’s fates were sealed.  In total, 24 people would either be hung (19 in total), 1 person was pressed to death and 4 people died in prison.

The home was bought in 1675 by Corwin, a local magistrate, and his wife Elizabeth (Gibbs).  Elizabeth was a wealthy widow having been previously married to Robert Gibbs.  They would have 10 children together.  Six of their children would die before the age of 25.  Only 2 children lived long enough to have families of their own.

The other room on the first floor showcases many of the tools and herbs used during that time.  As you can see in some of the photos, each historical artifact has a sign or placard next to it with an explanation or story behind the piece being displayed.

The Witch House has six rooms (if you count the foyer areas on two floors.  While not all of the items in the house are directly from that time, many of  the items in the building closely mimic the items of that era.

These chairs, for instance, are very similar to the chairs and tables used that time.  In fact, the 5 chairs at this table are symbolic of the 5 judges (out of 9) needed to convict someone of being a witch at that time.

On the table are copies of the pages of journals, diaries and court records of the inquisitions and court proceedings.

Judge Johnathan  Corwin, who resided here, was said to have questioned the accused at times using extreme measures such as tying people’s arms behind their backs to a chair similar to this one.  It forced more than one innocent person to confess.


The windows and furniture featured in the house are very well crafted.

In the first room of the first floor there is a sealed off area that shows the inside of the walls.  The architecture of that day may be outdated but it still holds up to this day.


Up a short, narrow, windy staircase, the second floor has two bedrooms.

In one of the rooms sits a machine for sewing or knitting.

This doll,  also known as a poppet, which was found in the wall of Bridget Bishop’s home, was said to have been a voodoo doll.  The catch is that most people at that time left these types of dolls in their walls as a sign of good luck.  Instead, In Bridget’s case, it was said to have been used to curse others.  Cute little fella, isn’t he?


Dogs are not allowed in the Witch House (exceptions may be made for service dogs).  But, I met Abita, a 3 year old Lab mix, on my way to the house.  Abita was adopted from the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, MA.  What a cutie.

The video below comes courtesy of samuelaschak. It gives a more detailed historical background of the building and the historical highlights of the Corwin family and Salem.

Happy Halloween (Salem, MA)

Dates Of Visits: October 22 & 29, 2016

Location: Salem, MA

Parking: Very limited during Halloween but you can find lots of parking at the New Liberty and Congress St parking garages and there is metered parkign available as well after Halloween season.

Handicapped Accessible: Salem’s streets are handicapped accessible and most buildings are as well.

October is full of scares and excitement in Salem, MA.  And this year was no different.  I saw so many cool, funny and, yes at times scary, people, pets and other things this year in Salem.  Since I saw so many interesting things in Salem, I am breaking up my posts into several posts so I don’t go overboard with my images in each post since they can take a very long time to download, especially on mobile devices.  And, believe it or not, there are so many interesting things in Salem all year round (not just during Halloween) but particularly during the fall.  From the street performers, the, in some cases, elaborate decorations and the historical aspects of the city, tthere are so many things to post about.  I will post the highlights from my Halloween day visit very soon.

Today’s post focuses mostly on the costumed people and the pets of Salem.  I still have many more photos of costumed people that I will post soon.  But, for the sake of time and space I am including these photos in chronological order from the earliest to the most recent.  There were quite a few politicians at Salem (Donald and Hillary were even seen together).  Poor Bernie was by himself and could only shrug his shoulders and say “Sure” when I asked for a photograph.

Some of the costumes are self explanatory, others not so much.  I’ll help where I can.

The three women with sticks and shades on are the three blind mice.  In the second to last row of photographs next to Jason and his monster friend are the 80s candy “Nerds.”  In the bottom row to the left are the cat and “crazy cat lady.”

Throughout my visits to Salem this past month I saw so many cute dogs.  Whether in costume or au naturel, they all looked very cute!

Lulu is an 8 year old Australian Sheepdog.  I love the different colored ears and the way she looks likes she is smiling in the second photo.


What a wonderful pose Bella struck for me!  The 1 year old Havanese (yes I had to look it up too) looks cute in her Stegosaurus costume.

Honey got into the festivities with her black and orange collar.

Eva is a 2 and a half year old mixed breed rescue dog.  Another happy dog in the city.


Fenway is a 5 year old Papipoo (Papillon Poodle mix).  He also has his own Facebook page at Fenway’s Aventures as well as an Instagran account @FenwaysAdventures a Twitter account @FenwayPuppy as well as a Snapchat account: @TheFenwayPuppy.  He’s got more socal media accounts than I do!

Unfortunately, I when I washed my pants the list of dogs and their ages and breeds were still in my pants pocket and my memory isn’t what it used to be.  So, I apologize for not remembering all of these beautiful dogs’ names.

It is also important to remember what Salem is largely known for by the public, besides the fun and scary stuff.  Each year, descendants and others honor the victims of the witch hysteria that unexpectedly put Salem on the map for fun and friendly tourism. At the Salem Witch Trials Memorial on Liberty St, roses are placed on each victim’s granite stone memorials during the week of Halloween.  Passerbys and those with a connection to the victim, through blood or otherwise, often leave notes, cards, flowers and other items as well.  Coins are a common item left behind by tourists and others sympathetic to the victims of this dark time.

Please connect with me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Twitter: New England Nomad (@waynefitz12):

Instagram: @new.england.nomad_




Salem Witch Trials Memorial (Salem, MA)

In the midst of half drunk college pranksters, families on day trips, tourists dressed in their Halloween costume of choice and an assortment of other revelers stands a somber memorial to the victims of the Salem witch trials.


Directly across from shops that hawk kitschy tourists souvenirs and “haunted houses” designed to spook people of all ages, is a memorial that commemorates a dark part of American history.  Without this dark time, there would be no kitschy souvenirs or haunted houses.

Dedicated in 1992, the Salem Witch Trials TerCentenary, the Salem Witch Trials Memorial, pays tribute to the 20 victims of the hysteria.

DSC_0943 DSC_0942 DSC_0941

DSC_0945 DSC_0946

Twenty benches, representing each of the 20 victims, stretch out from the stone wall.  Each bench or slab has each victim etched into it with the date of their death.  Often times, people will leave stones, coins, flowers, notes and other little gifts or mementos behind.
DSC_0939 DSC_0938  DSC_0936  DSC_0934  DSC_0932 DSC_0931  DSC_0929 DSC_0928 DSC_0927 DSC_0926  DSC_0924 DSC_0923   DSC_0920 DSC_0919 DSC_0918 DSC_0914

At the entrance on the ground are snippets of the quotes from some of the victims just before their deaths.

DSC_0904 DSC_0907 DSC_0906 DSC_0905 DSC_0908 DSC_0909 DSC_0910 DSC_0913 DSC_0912 DSC_0911

Of course, trials has a double meaning and it is a fitting use of the term.