Exact Location of Hangings of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 has been Identified

salemwitchtrialhangingsProctor’s Ledge has now been identified as the exact location of the gallows used to execute 19 innocent people during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. The site was confirmed as the hanging site last week by the Gallows Hill Project, a group of seven scholars who spent the past five years pinning down the exact spot. The rocky, wooded area has grabbed attention from not only visitors who want to grab a picture, but news crews and even direct descendants of some of the victims.

Proctor’s Ledge is situated behind the present Walgreens on Boston Street and just down from Gallows Hill Park.

You can read more in an article in the Salem (Massachusetts) News at http://goo.gl/xbNJ7U.

6 Comments

I visited Salem, MA, a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed the lovely place. My sole quibble was the plethora of ‘witchcraft’ shops in the town – yet there were no witches in Salem in 1692. It was all a panic attack brought on by other pressures on an increasingly paranoid local community. I hope a suitable plaque will be erected at the site of the gallows to those local victims of judicial murder.

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Thank you for the update. My husband has relatives who were among those falsely convicted. I’ve passed the info along to him.

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They made an educated guess that this is the exact location. There is no direct evidence and no way to confirm this short of having Mr. Peabody set the way back machine for 1692.

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Today’s SALEM is not the place where the witchcraft hysteria took place. Rather in 1692 the place was Salem Village which in the early 1700s renamed itself Danvers to hide its role in that benighted frenzy. My 8th ggrandmother was accused by the “Touch Test”, tried without legal representation, convicted, and jailed under miserable conditions until January 1693 when her husband paid 200 pounds for her release.

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One of my ancestors was hanged there, The family of Rebecca Nurse retrieved her body from the ditch where it was thrown and buried her secretly on the family farm in Peabody. Mary Bassett Derich was jailed until 1693. She was compensated and died in Marblehead in 1712.

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Ruth M Lloyd Swinerton January 28, 2016 at 12:15 pm

My Name is Ruth M Lloyd Swinerton—My husband was Robert “Warren” Swinerton–In 1984 we went to ‘Old Salem”Now Danvers- to help celebrate the errecting of a new historical marker at the “Swinerton Cemetery”. This is where “Job Swinerton” is burried–he is the first Swinerton who came here to the US from England–He is also the one mentioned in the book” Rebecca Nurse” a story of the which hunts there in Salem. we spent the day in Old Salem . Our Son ,Mark and daughter Rebecca as well as my mother -in- law-Virginia Louise Warren Swinerton Cressey were with us. I have our Swinerton geneology back to 1086 in England–I have a copy of the book

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