Updated: Nov 24, 2020
Last week, you heard us discuss the origins of the Salem Witch Trials, we talked about the witchcraft that was actually practiced at the time. Now, we talk about the present. What remains of those dark times? Can the trauma of the past leave an imprint for the future?
House of Seven Gables Museum
Often referred to as the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion, the museum was constructed in 1667 and is known as being the oldest surviving wooden mansion in New England.
Visitors report seeing apparitions, including the spirit of Susan Ingersoll, who passed away in 1958 at the age of 72.
Other reports of a young boy who is seen playing in the attic and feeling as if they are being watched by an unseen entity. Many who enter the attic report feeling dizzy or nauseous or a force that compels them to leave the area.
Employees and other visitors have reported hearing disembodied voices, footsteps, and even growls.
Other unexplained phenomena have also been reported such as lights and faucets turning off and on by themselves.
Allegedly built on an apple orchard owned by Bridget Bishop, the first lady executed for witchcraft in the 1692 witch trials, Hawthorne Hotel is known to be one of the most actively haunted places in Salem.
*So much of the lore we found in our research into the history of Salem, we found the original story was not greatly researched and recycled from the same story over the years. The conflicting historical reports led us to believe that we truly may never really know exactly what happened in Salem. Because of this, we cannot confirm that the apple orchard was actually owned by Bridget Bishop.
Many visitors to the hotel have claimed to smell apples throughout the hotel, even though apples are not on the menu.
Guests have also reported:
1. Seeing apparitions walking up and down the halls.
2. Disembodied voices and footsteps
3. Flickering lights
4. Temperature Fluctuations
5. The feeling of being watched.
6. The Furniture moving on its own
Guests who have stayed in room 325 of then reported hearing a baby crying in addition to other unexplained phenomena such as lights and faucets turning off and on by themselves.
Joshua Ward House
The Joshua Ward House was constructed in 1784 over the site of the home of the former High Sheriff George Corwin.
Corwin played a vital role during the Salem Witch trials and it is said he took suspects back to the basement of his home to engage in violent acts of interrogation and torture. It is said he took pleasure in these acts and many of the victims cursed him causing him to pass at the young age of 34. His body was stored for years in the same basement for fear that his victim's families would seek out revenge on his grave.
Reports from residents claim they have seen his apparition as well as two other vengeful spirits that were executed for witchcraft. The house was eventually remodeled in 2015 to become the Merchant Hotel. Guests report a variety of activities from apparitions, to disembodied voices, to doors opening and closing, to books and personal belongings being thrown.
Psychic Imprint Making Salem "Crushed Land"
In his book, The Ghosts of Salem, author Sam Baltrusis argued, “It’s possible that the psychic imprint from the cursed land’s past may have caused what parapsychologists call an aura of disaster--fertile ground for the birthing of ghosts."
Salem Since The Trials
Salem of today is much different from the Salem of the past. Where it was once a place terrified of witchcraft has now embraced its history.
There is a neighborhood known as Witchcraft Heights. The High School mascot is a witch, and even the police cars have a witch on the logo.
History has made Salem become a tourist mecca, especially around October. "While the Salem hysteria was born of a chauvinistic, women-fearing climate, its role in culture today shows how far we’ve come—witches are heroes instead of villains."