The Salem Witch Trials of 1692-1693 were by far the largest and most lethal outbreak of witchcraft hysteria in American history. Yet Salem was just one of many incidents during the Great Age of Witch Hunts which took place throughout Europe and her colonies over many centuries. Indeed, by European standards, Salem was not even a large outbreak. But what exactly were the factors that made Salem stand out?
The Trial of a Witch An embarrassing and tragic time in American history, the Salem witch trials of 1692 saw spectral evidence, accusation of neighbors, and executions before authorities ended the trials.
"The Sheriff brought the witch up the broad aisle, her chains clanking as she stepped." illustration of Rebecca Nurse by Freeland A. Carter published in "The Witch of Salem, or Credulity Run Mad" by John R. Musick circa 1893. #salemwitchtrials
Haunted by the 19 witches who were put to death in 1692 and 1693 in the famous Salem Witch Trials, Salem is a popular tourist destination for those interested in all things ghostly. Several of the witches are said to haunt Gallows Hills, where they were hanged, while others float about other places in town. One cant-miss historic site: the House of the Seven Gables (pictured), built in 1668 an