The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 are a piece of history known around the world. The prosecution of 20 people, mostly women, led to the death by hanging for being accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts. This memorial remembers the lives lost with respect and is meant to be a place of peace. The site, dedicated by Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, was completed in 1992. The stone walls surrounding the memorial are powerfully decorated with accounts of innocence from the victims. Many of the statements are cut short, just as the lives of the victims were.
It was nearby that the citizens were tried, convicted, and executed. The Salem Witch Trials serve as a reminder of the dangers of hysteria and the importance of human rights today. 20 granite benches with the names of the victims and their origins were built to remember these events, and make a powerful statement to this day.
You’ll find the Salem Witch Trials Memorial in the town of Danvers. It is located on Charter Street behind the Peabody Essex Museum, just across from the Salem Village Meeting House where many of the witch examinations took place. Parking is available at New Derby Street and Hawthorne Boulevard.