Often lost in all the broomstick bluster that goes on in Salem, MA, is the fact that the witch hysteria actually started in the neighboring town of Danvers, where most of the participants lived. Back then, it was called Salem Village, and it was in the town meeting house there that the examinations first took place. Later, the more official trials and executions occurred in Salem.
However, while its neighbor gets worldwide fame, festivals, and a copyright on Halloween, all Danvers has to pull in those same tourists are a few historic houses where some of the victims lived, a couple of informational signs, and the Salem Village Witchcraft Victims Memorial.
Installed in 1992, the memorial sits across from the original site of the aforementioned meeting house, which is currently a residential property. The monument is a large, granite pulpit backed by a series of vertical slabs incised with the names of all 25 victims, along with some of their more inscribable quotes maintaining their innocence. The pulpit is topped by a granite slant-top box and book in which is engraven the phrase, “The Book of Life,” and on either side of which are hand-forged metal chains and manacles.
Adapted with Permission from: The New England Grimpendium by J.W. Ocker
Know Before You Go
There is a small parking lot in the back of the site for the nearby school field. Parking is free, but it may fill up fast on weekends.