Something that’s responsible for many of the haunted houses in Salem, Massachusetts is the witch hunt of 1692 to 1693. It was during this period of time when innocent people were accused of being Satanists and practicing dark arts. None of these people were actual witches but that didn’t stop the hysteria and feeding frenzy of torturing confessions or denials from these accused people.
Salem Witch Trial
While there are many dramatic re-creations of a witch trial in Salem, Massachusetts, there are also some genuine haunted places located right in Salem. One of these is called the Joshua Ward House.
During the horrible witch hunt of 1692 to 1693, the infamous Sheriff George Corwin was one of the most evil witch hunters of all time. Being the sadist that he was, he eagerly welcomed, and even encouraged, accusations of witchcraft against people.
It gave him the chance to implement some of his most cruel methods of interrogation upon the alleged witches of Salem. Among these were tying the necks of the accused to their ankles and held that way until their noses bled and crushing them with rocks until they confessed.
Denials were turned on deaf ears.
It was while Sheriff Corwin was in the throes of hunting down witches that 19 innocent women and men were killed because they were affirmed by the Sheriff for having practiced black arts. Once they had been pronounced, the suspects referred to as Salem Witches were hung, dying a slow death of strangulation. In a twist of fate, the Sheriff dropped dead from a sudden heart attack in 1697. His family put his body in the cellar of the house because the ground was too frozen to dig a grave and they were also afraid that the mob of people that hated him would tear his body to pieces. He remained in the cellar for years until his body was finally moved to the Broad Street Cemetery.
Anytime someone is brutally killed or dies unexpectedly, there’s always the chance of paranormal activity when their spirits return to the scene of their death. That may very well be the case with the Joshua Ward House and the Salem Witches. A young woman with black, wild hair – a witch killed for having casted spells over others – has been spotted on more than one occasion roaming the hallways. In fact, the Salem witch appeared in a photograph taken of a realtor that worked in the building. She was lurking in a doorway in the background of the photograph, and she did not look happy.
Another ghost that has been spotted there is Giles Corey, a Salem witch, too. He was interrogated through Sheriff Corwin’s infamous crushed rock method, thus being tortured before dying. Corey left the Sheriff with a curse on his dying lips. This was a curse that followed a lot of the other sheriffs that came after Corwin.
Then, there’s Sheriff Corwin himself. Many people have spotted what could have been him rocking in a chair by the fireplace. He may also have made his presence felt as several witnesses reported having felt unseen hands around their necks choking them. Of course, this could also be any of the other 19 murdered men and women known as witches of Salem showing what their deaths were like.
Whether you visit Salem Massachusetts to encounter ghosts from the past, attend a witch trial re-creation, or wind up at some of the most haunted houses in Massachusetts such as the Joshua Ward house, a visit to Salem will give you a scary taste. Time your trip there during any of the holidays, but particularly Halloween. You’ll be treated to ghostly memories that will last a lifetime!