Salem, Massachusetts – Stepping back in Time

Traveling to Salem is like stepping back in time – perhaps England about three hundred years ago. Which stands to reason. When the Salem Witch Trials took place, Massachusetts was indeed, and English Colony.

This photograph is of the “Witch House” – Judge Corwin’s residence. He served as a magistrate at the trials. Some of the accused were even brought to his house for questioning. This is the last remaining building with actual ties to the infamous witch trials. The docent working when I visited was incredibly helpful in sharing her time and expertise to benefit my research.

Witch House

Judge Corwin’s House


Rebecca Nurse (Witchcraft Accused)











Indeed, Colonial America was a fascinating place full of danger and intrigue. For us westerners, it is hard to fathom that this once was the frontier. In fact several deadly Indian wars took place in the region – one known as King Phillips War.

Regardless, folk customs and the belief in witches was very widespread, as the example of the poppet below shows. Poppets were/are occasionally found lodged in chimneys, and were used for casting spells.


Poppet in the Salem Witch House










Salem also boasts a proud literary tradition with Nathanial Hawthorne.  Although the House of the Seven Gables is located there, he is perhaps best known for his novel The Scarlet Letter – an indictment f the harsh Puritan culture for which Massachusetts in known.

Nathanial Hawthorne lived in this home until about aged 10. The house now hold his artifacts.

Nathaniel Hawthorne lived in this home until about aged 10. The house now hold his artifacts.











The House of the Seven Gables








Salem was also an important shipping port. Below is the Town Hall in Derby Square. It is now a museum devoted to different facets of Salem’s History.

Salem Town Hall Derby Square