Monthly Archives: January 2016

Site of Salem Witch Trial Hangings Confirmed

Salem, Mass.– After nearly 325 years of research and speculation, the site where 19 innocent people were hanged during the 1692 Salem Witch Trials has been verified. Proctor’s Ledge, an area bounded by Proctor and Pope Streets in Salem, Massachusetts, has been confirmed as the execution site by a team of scholars. The SAF has been proud to be a part of the research team.

     The Gallows Hill Project team bases its findings on the early 20th century research of historian Sidney Perley, an eye-witness reference to an execution from the trial papers, maps from different periods, and newer technology not available previously. “Ground-penetrating radar and high-tech aerial photography shed new light on the topography of the site as it is today and as it was in 1692,” asserted Professor Benjamin Ray of the University of Virginia. “As a result,” added Ray, “we can now say with confidence that Proctor’s Ledge is the site of the hangings.”

     Members of the Gallows Hill Project Team include Emerson “Tad” Baker, Professor of History, Salem State University; Shelby Hypes, Chair, Salem Award Foundation; Elizabeth Peterson, Director, the city of Salem’s Corwin House (The Witch House); Tom Phillips, producer and director of Salem Witch Trials: Examine the Evidence; Benjamin Ray, Professor of Religion, University of Virginia; Marilynne Roach, Salem witch trials historian and author; and Peter Sablock, Emeritus Professor of Geology, Salem State University.