THE WITCH HOUSE
THE WITCH HOUSE IS THE 17th CENTURY HOME OF
SALEM WITCHCRAFT TRIAL JUDGE JONATHAN CORWIN.
IN 1692, A WAVE OF WITCHCRAFT ACCUSATIONS
ENGULFED SALEM AND NEIGHBORING
COMMUNITIES. AS A LOCAL MAGISTRATE AND
CIVIC LEADER, CORWIN WAS CALLED UPON TO
INVESTIGATE THE CLAIMS OF DIABOLICAL
ACTIVITY. HE AND JOHN HATHORNE PERFORMED
A NUMBER OF THE INITIAL EXAMINATIONS OF
ACCUSED WITCHES. CORWIN ALSO SERVED ON
THE COURT OF OYER AND TERMINER, WHICH
ULTIMATELY SENT NINETEEN TO THE GALLOWS.
ALL MAINTAINED THEIR INNOCENCE UNTIL THEIR
In 1692, 14 women and 6 men were accused of being witches, were tried, convicted, and executed. Executions took place on June 10, July 19, August 19, September 19 and September 22, 1692. To this day, the events of 1692 are used as a yardstick to measure the depth of civility and due process in our society.
The Witch Trials Memorial was dedicated by Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel in August 1992 as part of the Salem Witch Trials TerCentenary. The design was selected in a international competition that received 246 entries. The winning design by Maggie Smith and James Cutler was inspired by the Vietnam Memorial.
The Memorial consists of 20 granite benches cantilevered from a low stone wall surrounding an area adjoining the Old Burying Point. The benches are inscribed with the name of the accused and the means and date of execution.