A short walk from the Peabody Essex Museum and Witch City Mall on busy Essex Street, you can find Salem’s solemn memorial to the 20 victims of their 1692 witch trials. Granite walls surround three sides of the space; the fourth side is an open stone threshold and a blue plaque on one corner.
The Salem Witch Trials Memorial was dedicated in 1992, three centuries after the infamous witch trials took place. Within the walls, there are simple stone slabs, one for each victim, etched with their name, execution date, and how they were killed. Do take a moment to read the plaque, and look down at the threshold; where fragments of the statements of the accused have been etched. See how other visitors lay flowers, coins, poems, and other ephemera on the slabs. It is a powerful area that grounds you for the stores and tourist areas minutes away.
In the center of the memorial, there is a small grass lawn strewn with locust trees, which are thought to be the type of tree used for hangings during the trials. A dirt path runs beside the benches for visitors to walk and reflect.
Know Before You Go
Prepare for this experience by purchasing flowers or bringing coins in your pocket to leave on the benches. There are also plenty of shops minutes away like Hex, Omen, and Bewitched, to name a few, which have appropriate items you can purchase to leave or to hold onto during your peregrinations around the site.