All posts by SAF

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.

October Tent Talks Schedule

The Salem Award Foundation for Human Rights and Social Justice invites you to hear a series of brief presentations during the month of October beneath a tent on the grounds of the Salem Witch Trials Memorial. These 15-minute talks bring visibility to the issues of human rights and social justice in contemporary society.

All talks are on Thursdays at noon. Rain or shine.

October 1st
Working to Unify Diverse Communities
Mickey Northcutt, CEO, North Shore Community Development Corporation

October 8th
What It Means to Be a Site of Conscience
Braden Paynter, Program Associate, International Sites of Conscience

October 15th
On Being a City of Inclusion
Kim Driscoll, Mayor, City of Salem

October 22nd
America’s Border Crisis: How Immigration Became Illegal
Avi Chomsky, Professor of History, SSU

October 29th
What It Means to Be a Descendant
John Keenan, Vice President, SSU

Made possible in part by



June Tent Talks on SATV and Online

Every Thursday in June at noon, the SAF presented a speaker on a contemporary issue relating to human rights and social justice at the Salem Witch Trials Memorial. If you missed one or all of the talks, you are in luck. SATV recorded all four Tent Talks and has been airing them on Channel 3 at scheduled times.

If you prefer to watch at your own pace, you may visit the web link below, and select an option to “Watch Now” and view the program via online streaming.

Thanks to all who attended and participated in June Tent Talks series at the Witch Trials Memorial. We have planned another series of speakers for this coming October on Thursdays at noon.